California Right-to-Die Law Saw 111 People Kill Themselves in First Six Months

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

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.

California's End of Life Option Act gained national attention after Brittany Maynard - a woman who was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor - moved from California to Oregon in order to legally obtain life-ending medication to die under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act. Of that group, only 111 had taken the pills by the end of previous year.


Among the 111 patients who died, 87% were over 60 years of age or older.

The California Department of Public Health released data Tuesday showing more than 100 people died after choosing to take aid-in-dying drugs.

OR was the first state to adopt this kind of law in 1997.


Matt Whitaker, a spokesperson for Compassion & Choices, a group that worked to pass the law, told the Times that the 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". According to the law, seriously ill people could demand life-threatening drugs to doctors in order to end up their lives. Therefore, the aid-in-dying law came right in time. Most were receiving hospice, had health insurance and were college educated. 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.

The life-ending drugs must be self-administered without the help of family members, friends or doctors.

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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