Over 100 People End Their Lives Under California's "Right To Die" Law

111 terminally ill patients from California received aid-in-dying drugs

According to the report, from June 9 to December 31 of a year ago, 258 individuals "started the end-of-life option process, as set forth in the Act, by making two verbal requests to their physicians at least 15 days apart".

The report analyzes statistics only through December 31 of 2016, so its numbers understate use of the law to date.

More than 100 people have legally ended their lives since California enacted a right-to-die law previous year, according to a new report.

The End of Life Option Act made California the fifth state in the U.S.to allow terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to request life-ending prescriptions from their doctors. The people who received these prescriptions didn't take them, but died of natural causes. In that timeframe, 191 people received life-ending drugs after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. But among them, only 111 patients took the drugs that proved life-threatening.

Of the 111 individuals, 87.4 percent were more than 60 years of age, 96.4 percent were insured and 83.8 percent were receiving hospice and/or palliative care.

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OR was the first state to enact "right-to-die" legislation in 1997, according to the Associated Press. The Department of Public Health must gather information on those who take or seek taking these aid-in-dying drugs.

"Patients in OR have been refused chemotherapy, but their insurance companies will pay for so-called "aid-in-dying" drugs". It also showed about 80 percent of private insurance companies have covered the cost of medication, including Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter, many local health plans and all Medi-Cal plans. OR became the first state to adopt right-to-die legislation in 1997, and doctor-assisted deaths are legal in Colorado, Montana, Vermont, Washington, and Washington D.C., according to USA Today.

Compassion & Choices is the oldest nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life in the United States, with 450,000 members nationwide.

Writing the lethal prescriptions is completely voluntary for doctors and medical facilities, and some, including all Catholic and church-affiliated hospitals, have not allowed their physicians to prescribe such medicines.

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