Patients Have Died Under CA Right-to-Die Law

Debbie Ziegler mother of Brittany Maynard speaks to the media after the passage of legislation which would allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives at the state Capitol in Sacramento Calif. C

Almost 200 received the drugs under the law, the report said.

The End of Life Option Act allows qualified terminally ill adults in California the ability to obtain and self-administer aid-in-dying drugs. Under the law, an annual report by the Department of Public Health is mandated to provide details on anyone who requested and may have used aid-in-dying drugs.

"I think this report will answer a lot of the questions people have had", Carey said said. The median age was 73, and majority of the patients had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the 2016 End of Life Option Act (Act) first Annual Report. The first report covers the period from the effective date of the law to the end of year (June 9, 2016 - December 31, 2016) and subsequent reports will be for full calendar years.

Dan Diaz, the husband of right to die advocate Brittany Maynard, called the data "a testament" to his late wife's "voice and advocacy that those 111 individuals had the ability to stay at home, under the care of their own medical team, and be surrounded by friends and family when they died".

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Apparently some of the people who requested prescriptions for lethal drugs had second thoughts.

Andrea Witherell, Ray Perman's 25-year-old daughter, said it was very meaningful to her father to have such a law available to him.

"I do not want to die. Science was not going to fix him". The law also states that doctors themselves should not prescribe the drug to them until n unless patients demand it. The 111 individuals were among the 191 people who received prescriptions for life-ending drugs.

Corinne Carey, the NY campaign director for the right to die advocacy group Compassion & Choices, said the data will help spearhead a similar effort in NY. Last year, the state reported 2014 people who received prescriptions for life-ending drugs, 133 of whom died.

"Patients are not required to have even a basic psychological evaluation prior to receiving a prescription for lethal drugs", a message on the Life Legal Defense website addressing assisted suicide said.

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