CDPH Releases Annual End of Life Option Act Report


The data was part of the first report by the California Department of Health since the End of Life Option Act became effective on June 9, 2016.

Since then, 111 people have taken the legal drugs and ended their lives, according to a report released on Tuesday, the first since the law went into effect. California became the fifth state in the nation to pass such a law. 111 people of these were reported to have died following the consumption of the drugs.

Matt Whitaker, California director of Compassion & Choices, an organization aiming to improve patient's medical rights, expressed his support for the law after the report's findings.

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.

"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.

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111 of the individuals had taken the pills by the end of the reporting period, as of December 31 2016.

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

The rate of physician-assisted deaths in California between June and December 2016 was 6 per 10,000 deaths, much lower than the 2016 rate in OR, which was 37 per 10,000 deaths, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The similar law (Right-to-die Law) was approved by OR state government and many other states two decades ago that left majority of white, strongly educated cancer patients of age 60 dead. Each year, on or before July 1, the Department of Public Health must provide prescribed information on those who sought and used aid-in-dying drugs. Fifty-nine percent of those who died were suffering from cancer.