Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health released its latest report on the use of the End of Life Option Act. The report, covering the period from January 1-December 31, 2018, shows that 337 Californians took medications to hasten their death.
Of the 551 California residents who started the end-of-life option process under the Act last year, 452 received medication with prescriptions written by 180 doctors. The vast majority of those who ingested the medications—88 percent—were enrolled in hospice care, and 92 percent of them died at home. These findings are consistent with years of data from Oregon and Washington.
Deaths under the Act represented 12.6 per 10,000 deaths based on 268,474 deaths to California residents in 2018.
California’s latest report points to what we know from other states with aid-in-dying statutes: that a small number of people use the law, and that many people who receive the medication do not take it, finding great comfort in merely knowing it was available to them.
Three years after the California End of Life Option Act’s implementation, the law continues to work flawlessly and to provide ease of mind and relief to Californians facing the end of life.
Read the full 2018 report here.
Featured image by Brian Wilkins.