CDPH Releases Annual End of Life Option Act Report

CDPH Releases Annual End of Life Option Act Report

CDPH Releases Annual End of Life Option Act Report

The End of Life Option Act went into force last June and allows terminally ill adults to obtain and self-administer life-ending drugs from their doctors. Between then and December 31 of previous year, "191 individuals received aid-in-dying drugs under the EOLA, and 111 people died following ingestion of the prescribed drugs", writes the California Department of Public Health.

In California, 87 percent of those who died from the lethal drugs were aged 60 years or older and 90 percent were white.

Eggman will chair a state hearing this fall that will take a deeper look at how the law is playing out in California and include the testimonies of families with terminally ill people who have used the law. The remaining 80 patients' outcomes were either unreported or died for reasons unrelated to taking the drug.

"Any unused drug that is prescribed for aid in dying has to be returned in person to either the pharmacy where it was purchased to be destroyed or to another (government-designated) place where it can be destroyed", said Bob Davila, spokesman for the California State Board of Pharmacy. A majority (59%) had been diagnosed with cancer.

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California officials said caution should be exercised in trying to draw conclusions from the report that is based on only six months of data.

California became the fifth state in the nation to pass such a law. 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.

While California is significantly more diverse than OR, the California Dept. of Health report almost mirrors what has been occurring in Oregon.

The California Department of Public Health today released its first report detailing usage information during the first half-year of the End of Life Option Act's implementation. Most of the patients were older than 65 and also been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

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