Californians terminated lives under aid-in-dying law previous year

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

How this new law takes effect in the nation's most populous state could provide some insight as to what might happen should other states push their own laws.

According to the report, from June 9 to December 31 of previous year, 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". Results on the 59 others who received the drugs but did not die were not reported on in the six-month time frame, the report says. The statistics, said supporters of the law, showed that the drugs were being used as a contingency plan by patients in the event their pain becomes intolerable.

But opposition to the law remains.

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She also explained her advocacy others facing a similar fate, noting while she and her husband were able to move to OR to obtain end-of-life medication, "the vast majority of families do not have the flexibility, resources and time to make all these changes".

"It's really tragic that doctors are now thinking that the best they can do for a patient is to give them a handful of barbiturates and leave them to their own devices", Alexandra Snyder, an attorney with Life Legal Defense Foundation, told the Los Angeles Times.

The entrance to the newly constructed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center hospital in San Diego, April 17. However, only 111 people of the 191 had actually taken the pills by the end of the reporting period.

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OR was the first state to enact "right-to-die" legislation in 1997, according to the Associated Press. That figure is much lower than the 2016 rate in OR, where assisted deaths made up 37 of every 10,000 deaths. In 2016 in OR, the number of drug-aided deaths was 37 per 10,000.

Doctors had prescribed life-to-end drugs to around 191 patients.

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

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