California’s Department of Public Health has stated in a recent report that 111 terminally ill people in the state legally ended their lives since the California right-to-die law went into effect in June 2016. The End of Life Option Act allows for residents of the state, who are suffering from a terminal illness, of ages 18 and older, to request for life-ending drugs from their doctors and avail the option to die peacefully, ending intolerable suffering that conditions such as late-stage malignant tumor could lead to.
Majority were Cancer Patients
According to the report, between the date the law was passed and December 31, 2016, 258 people opted for End of Life Option Act. Of these, 191 applicants were prescribed the EOLA approved aid-in-dying medication by their doctors. 111 people of these were reported to have died following the consumption of the drugs. 21 people died owing to terminal illnesses and the outcome of 59 other people who were prescribed the medications remained undetermined over the course of the period that the report covered.
The report stated that a large number of the 111 people died owing to the ingestion of the aid-in-dying lethal medication were cancer patients. Median age of the group of patients at the time of death was 73 years. 89.5% of the patients were white, 83.8% were enrolled in palliative/hospice care, and 96.4% were covered by health insurance. Of the 111 people who died, 51 were men and 60 were women.