From June to December 2016, physician-assisted deaths accounted for 6 of every 10,000 deaths in California.
In the first six months that terminally ill Californians had the right to die, 191 lethal prescriptions were written-with as many as 80 of them going unused. The End of Life Option Act, which took effect in June of a year ago, allows for terminally ill patients with six months or fewer to live to request life-ending drugs in the form of a pill.
31, 2016, 191 patients with six months or fewer to live legally obtained life-ending prescriptions under the End of Life Option Act, according to the report.
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59% of the 111 people who ingested the drugs in California had cancer. Though California is far more diverse than OR, the majority of those who have died under aid-in-dying laws in both states were white, college-educated cancer patients older than 60. Of that number, 111 people took the prescribed drugs and died. The patient must verbally ask for the lethal prescription to a doctor twice and with at least 15 days between each request.
While California is significantly more diverse than OR, the California Dept. of Health report almost mirrors what has been occurring in Oregon.
The new law made the Golden State the fifth state in the country to allow certain patients to request life-ending drugs from their doctors.
Critics say they are concerned that the option will lead to hasty decisions, misdiagnoses and waning support for palliative care, in which dying people can be sedated to relieve suffering. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community.