111 terminally ill patients from California received aid-in-dying drugs

(Mirror Daily, United States) – After the aid-in-dying law was adopted in California, the state’s Department of Public Health developed a statistical report where it assessed the diseases, ages, and some other data regarding those terminally ill people who received doctor prescriptions to end their lives. They found that 111 adults took the life-ending drugs so far.

Assisted suicide is now legal in California

On June 9th, 2016, California passed the End of Life Option Act, which legalized assisted suicide among terminally ill patients. The Department of Public Health must gather information on those who take or seek taking these aid-in-dying drugs.

Statistics show that the majority of patients who used such kind of drugs suffered from cancer, namely 58.6 percent. A high percentage was also represented by people with different types of neuromuscular disorders, such as Parkinson’s or ALS. Other illnesses they suffered from were heart or respiratory diseases. The average age of these terminally ill patients was 73, but 42 percent of them were 80 or even older.

This aid-in-dying law helps terminally ill patients whose bodies no longer help them

Most people who took the aid-in-dying drugs were white, more precisely 102 out of 111. From the remaining patients, six were Asian, while the remaining three were black or Hispanics. One of the terminally ill patients who took the pills was Tom House.

The former Marine, aged 94, saw his body suddenly decaying because of his precarious eyesight and heart disease. Also, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, and realized his body won’t let him continue with his life the way he was used to. Therefore, the aid-in-dying law came right in time.

Only 111 terminally ill patients took the life-ending drugs but, in fact, 191 prescriptions have been issued. The people who received these prescriptions didn’t take them, but died of natural causes. Pharmacists advise people to return the drugs to the place they took it from to be destroyed.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons