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News Worms


California Right to Die Law Allows 111 Deaths in 6 Months

California Right to Die Law Allows 111 Deaths in 6 Months

The End of Life Option Act (EOLA) went into effect on June 9, 2016. Of those, 111 died from taking the drugs, while 21 people died before taking them and the status of 59 individuals had not been reported within the time period covered by the report, June 9, 2016-December 31, 2016.

A little over 75% of the 111 people, were 60-89 years of age, and 89.5% were white. The data comes from the California Department of Public Health's first report on the law. Of those, 133 people died from ingesting the drugs, including 19 recipients from prior years. The patient must verbally ask for the lethal prescription to a doctor twice and with at least 15 days between each request. "We continue to work to ensure that every terminally ill Californian has equal access to all end-of-life care options, including hospice, pain control, palliative care and medical aid in dying".

State officials warn that people should be cautious in drawing hasty conclusions from this report, as it only covers six months of data. Alexandra Snyder, an attorney with Life Legal Defense Foundation, said the data did not show whether the patients were suffering from depression or coerced into taking the drugs by doctors.

Other states have similar right-to-die laws.

While California is significantly more diverse than OR, the California Dept. of Health report almost mirrors what has been occurring in Oregon.

Christian Burkin, spokesman for California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman, who helped write the law, said while the data is limited, the numbers showing who took the drugs and how many requested the prescriptions, but did not take the drugs, indicate the End of Life Option Act is being implemented as Eggman and the other authors of the law intended. Most of the patients were older than 65 and also been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

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