California enacted the End of Life Option Act in June 2016, allowing people with less than six months to live to request end-of-life drugs from their doctors. While the report does say that 21 of those people died from other causes than suicide, it was not clear in the survey what had happened with the other 59 patients who had asked for, but not used, the drug.
It had no information on how many used the drugs, but the group had initially predicted that about 1,500 lethal prescriptions would be written in California during the law's first year - and about two-thirds of the medications would actually be ingested.
In this first report, for the partial year June 9 - December 31, 2016, 191 individuals received aid-in-dying drugs under the EOLA, and 111 people died following ingestion of the prescribed drugs.
Roughly 75% of the 111 who successfully ended their own lives were between 60-89 years of age, and 89.5% were white. After being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Maynard moved to Oregon-which at the time was only one of four states to allow patients to take their own life.
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State Director of Compassion & Choices Matt Whitaker stated: "We continue to work to ensure that every terminally ill Californian has equal access to all end-of-life care options, including hospice, pain control, palliative care and medical aid in dying".
"Patients in OR have been refused chemotherapy, but their insurance companies will pay for so-called "aid-in-dying" drugs". More than 94 percent of the patients had health insurance, including 57 percent on Medicare, Medicaid or California's Medi-Cal program.
The life-ending drugs must be self-administered without the help of family members, friends or doctors. The remaining 80 patients' outcomes were either unreported or died for reasons unrelated to taking the drug.