Patients Have Died Under CA Right-to-Die Law

Patients Have Died Under CA Right-to-Die Law

The End of Life Option Act allows qualified terminally ill adults in California the ability to obtain and self-administer aid-in-dying drugs.

According to a report released on Tuesday by the California Department of Health, 111 terminally ill residents chose to end their lives over the first six months since the bill was passed. The law also states that doctors themselves should not prescribe the drug to them until n unless patients demand it. Between then and December 31 of previous year, "191 individuals received aid-in-dying drugs under the EOLA, and 111 people died following ingestion of the prescribed drugs", writes the California Department of Public Health.

The California data shows that the law is working as it should, according to Matt Whitaker, State Director of Compassion & Choices, which backed the California law.

In California, 191 prescriptions for life-ending drugs were written for terminally ill patients as of the end of December, even though only 111 of those patients had used the drugs by that point.

But opposition to the law remains.




"It's really tragic that doctors are now thinking that the best they can do for a patient is to give them a handful of barbiturates and leave them to their own devices", Snyder said.

The entrance to the newly constructed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center hospital is shown in San Diego, California, April 17, 2017. According to the report, only 111 of them took the pills by the end of the reporting period in December.

A similar law has been in place in neighboring OR since 1997. In 2016 in OR, the number of drug-aided deaths was 37 per 10,000.

The vast majority of people who took the drugs - 102 out of the 111 - were white, with Asians making up six of the total and blacks and Hispanics at three each.

While California is significantly more diverse than OR, the California Dept. of Health report almost mirrors what has been occurring in Oregon. Fifty-nine percent of those who died were suffering from cancer.

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