Terminally ill people have the right to end their lives since 2016
The End Of Life option was put into effect on June 9th, 2016, allowing people with terminal illnesses to take their own lives humanely through prescription drugs.
The law gained support and momentum after California national Brittany Maynard left the state of California to move to Oregon, where she could legally acquire a life-ending prescription under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.
Maynard died on November 1st 2014, legally assisted with a life-ending prescription. She had been diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor.
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.”
Statistics show the law is working as it should
The California Department of Health details that in the six months following the so-called “right to die” law was instated, 191 individuals diagnosed as having less than six month to live were approved for “life-ending” prescriptions.
111 of the individuals had taken the pills by the end of the reporting period, as of December 31st 2016.
58.6% of the terminally ill individuals had been diagnosed with cancer, and 18% had neuromuscular disorders like ALS and Parkinsons disease.
Roughly 75% of the 111 who successfully ended their own lives were between 60-89 years of age, and 89.5% were white. The majority of the individuals had a minimum of some college education.
Whitaker stated: “The state’s 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.”