Health Care

Patients Have Died Under CA Right-to-Die Law

Patients Have Died Under CA Right-to-Die Law”

California's End of Life Option Act became effective in June 2016 and allows adults living in California to obtain and self-administer drugs that help end their lives, according to the California Department of Health (CDPH). The data showed that 191 prescriptions had been written, so 80 people had not taken the drugs at the time of the survey.

The CDPH says of the 111 people who died, more than 87% were over 60 years of age. That means that 59 people who requested life-ending medication didn't wind up taking it by the end of 2016 (21 others died without taking the drugs in the first place).

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.

The California Department of Public Health today released its first report detailing usage information during the first half-year of the End of Life Option Act's implementation.

During the first six month's of California's right-to-die law, 111 people in the state ended their lives using lethal prescriptions. According to the law, seriously ill people could demand life-threatening drugs to doctors in order to end up their lives.

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A similar law has been in place in neighboring OR since 1997.

"Patients in OR have been refused chemotherapy, but their insurance companies will pay for so-called "aid-in-dying" drugs". She also argued that the law offers no way to determine whether a patient was coerced into taking life-ending drugs. Most were receiving hospice, had health insurance and were college educated.

Oregon, became the first to adopt similar legislation in 1997, and US doctor-assisted deaths are now legal in Colorado, Montana, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C., according to AP.

She also explained her advocacy others facing a similar fate, noting while she and her husband were able to move to OR to obtain end-of-life medication, "the vast majority of families do not have the flexibility, resources and time to make all these changes".



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