111 terminally ill end lives under new California law

California State Data on End of Life Option Act Confirms It is Working Well

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 End of Life Option Act went into effect in June 2016, making California the fifth state in the nation to allow patients with less than six months to live to request end-of-life drugs from their doctors. Additionally, the report includes demographic information on these individuals, including age and underlying illness.

The data states that between June 9, 2016, and December 31, 2016, 191 patients who were given six months or less to live were prescribed life-ending drugs under the law.

A little more than 75 percent of the patients were between 60 and 89 years old, with the median age being 73.




Data in the report comes from EOLA-mandated physician reporting forms and California death certificates. The report-from the California Department of Public Health-found that about two-thirds of those who died had cancer, most often lung cancer and breast cancer. The statistics also revealed that 102 out of the 111 who died were white, with Asians making up six of the total and blacks and Hispanics at three each, according to the Bee.

"The state's data show that even during the early months of the law's implementation, the law was working well and terminally ill Californians were able to take comfort in knowing that they had this option to peacefully end intolerable suffering", he said in a statement.

"Any unused drug that is prescribed for aid in dying has to be returned in person to either the pharmacy where it was purchased to be destroyed or to another (government-designated) place where it can be destroyed", said Bob Davila, spokesman for the California State Board of Pharmacy. He said, "Basically it mirrors the experience in OR".

Other states have similar right-to-die laws.

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