Terminally Ill Patients End Their Lives Under Calif. Right-To-Die Law

On June 9, 2016, California passed the End of Life Option Act, which legalized assisted suicide among terminally ill patients.

This data is the California Department of Public Health's first report on the effects of the law since it was implemented on June 9, 2016, Fox News reports.

The law, first introduced in 2016, allows patients who are terminally ill to voluntarily take their lives.

Most people who took the aid-in-dying drugs were white, more precisely 102 out of 111.

Neuromuscular disorders, such as Parkinson's Disease and ALS, were the second largest underlying illness among those who took their own lives under the law, totaling 18 percent of the group.

On Tuesday, in its first-ever mandated statistical report on California's aid-in-dying law, the state Department of Public Health cataloged illnesses, ages and other data, but it began with a total: 111 terminally ill adults took doctor-prescribed drugs past year to end their lives.

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Satistics on those taking their lives appeared in some respects to mirror those in OR, which was the first state to legalize the practice nearly 20 years ago, according to the Los Angeles Times.

An additional 21 individuals died before taking the drugs.

"Patients in OR have been refused chemotherapy, but their insurance companies will pay for so-called "aid-in-dying" drugs".

Majority were white, college educated, had health insurance provided by either private or state carriers, and were receiving hospice or palliative care.

The law gained support and momentum after California national Brittany Maynard left the state of California to move to Oregon, where she could legally acquire a life-ending prescription under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.

Compassion & Choices is the oldest nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life in the United States, with 450,000 members nationwide. Twenty-one of the 191 individuals who received the prescriptions died without using the drugs, while the status of the other 59 individuals is "undetermined".

  • Myrtle Hill