California Right to Die Law Allows 111 Deaths in 6 Months

29 June, 2017, 21:14 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Debbie Ziegler mother of Brittany Maynard speaks to the media after the passage of legislation which would allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives at the state Capitol in Sacramento Calif. C

The End of Life Option Act allows qualified terminally ill adults in California the ability to obtain and self-administer aid-in-dying drugs. The law also states that doctors themselves should not prescribe the drug to them until n unless patients demand it. A newly released report by the California Department of Health accounts for the terminally ill individuals who participated in the state's assisted suicide program between June 9 and December 31.

Right-to-die law passed by the California's state government has created a chaos in California after 111 patients attempted suicide by consuming fatal medically prescribed drugs. The statistics, said supporters of the law, showed that the drugs were being used as a contingency plan by patients in the event their pain becomes intolerable.

Alexandra Snyder, an attorney with Life Legal Defense Foundation and an opponent of the right-to-die law, told the Times that California has effectively decriminalized assisted suicide.

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A snapshot of the patients who took advantage of the law mirrors what's been seen in OR, which was the first state to legalize the practice almost two decades ago.

Only 111 terminally ill patients took the life-ending drugs but, in fact, 191 prescriptions have been issued.

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

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Deaths from aid-in-dying made up six out of every 10,000 deaths in California between June and December 2016, according to state officials. In 2016 in OR, the number of drug-aided deaths was 37 per 10,000. 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".

Roughly 90 percent of the 111 patients were white, and about 75 percent were between ages 60 and 89. Fifty-nine percent of those who died were suffering from cancer.

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