111 terminally ill people end their lives under California's new right-to-die law: California Depart

California health officials said 111 terminally ill people have legally ended their lives since the state's right-to-die law took effect in 2016. 

The data was part of the first report by the California Department of Health since the End of Life Option Act became effective on June 9, 2016. According to the report, between June 9 and Dec. 31, 2016, 191 people who had six months or fewer to live, received life-ending prescriptions. According to the report, only 111 of them took the pills by the end of the reporting period in December.  

The report found that of the 111 who died, 58.6% had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and 18% suffered from neuromuscular disorders like ALS and Parkinsons's.

A little over 75% of the 111 people, were 60-89 years of age, and 89.5% were white. The majority of the people involved had at least some college education. 

Oregon, became the first to adopt similar legislation in 1997, and U.S. doctor-assisted deaths are currently legal in Colorado, Montana, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C., according to AP. 

California's law gained momentum after Brittany Maynard moved from California to Oregon, so she could legally die with medication prescribed under the Oregon Death With Dignity Act.

Maynard, who was diagnosed with a stage 4 malignant brain tumor, died on Nov. 1, 2014. 

The California data shows that the law is working as it should, according to Matt Whitaker, State Director of Compassion & Choices, which backed the California law.

"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," he said in a statement. "... 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."

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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