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People Ended Their Lives in 6 Months Under California's New Right-to-Die Law


In California, 191 prescriptions for life-ending drugs were written for terminally ill patients as of the end of December, even though only 111 of those patients had used the drugs by that point.

The new law made the Golden State the fifth state in the country to allow certain patients to request life-ending drugs from their doctors.

California's End of Life Option Act gained national attention after Brittany Maynard - a woman who was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor - moved from California to Oregon in order to legally obtain life-ending medication to die under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.

Twenty-one more patients died before they could take the drugs.

More than 100 terminally ill people in California have legally ended their lives since a "right-to-die" law took effect in 2016, according to a report from the state's health department.

Study links rise in auto crashes with marijuana states
In Washington state and Colorado, NBC News found that searches were cut by more than 50 percent within months of legalization. The study compared the rate of fatal auto crashes in Colorado and Washington before and following legalization in 2012.

As compared to OR, the suicide cases are much lower in California because the law is not completely rooted in this state.

The similar law (Right-to-die Law) was approved by OR state government and many other states two decades ago that left majority of white, strongly educated cancer patients of age 60 dead.

Christian Burkin, spokesperson for California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman, said that the data may be limited, but the numbers show that the End of Life Option Act is being implemented the way Eggman and other authors of the law intended it to work.

An additional 21 individuals died before taking the drugs. Therefore, the aid-in-dying law came right in time.

A lot of them were white, college educated, had health insurance provided by either private or state carriers, and were receiving hospice or palliative care. The states of Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Vermont have passed legislation similar to California's while Montana's courts upheld the legality of the practice. Alexandra Snyder, an attorney with Life Legal Defense Foundation, said the data did not show whether the patients were suffering from depression or coerced into taking the drugs by doctors.

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