According to the report, from June 9 to December 31 of past year, 258 individuals "started the end-of-life option process, as set forth in the Act, by making two verbal requests to their physicians at least 15 days apart".
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.
The law, first introduced in 2016, allows patients who are terminally ill to voluntarily take their lives. According to the report, only 111 of them took the pills by the end of the reporting period in December.
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 law, seriously ill people could demand life-threatening drugs to doctors in order to end up their lives.
In this first report, for the partial year June 9 - December 31, 2016, 191 individuals received aid-in-dying drugs under the EOLA, and 111 people died following ingestion of the prescribed drugs. Results on the 59 others who received the drugs but did not die were not reported on in the six-month time frame, the report says.
State officials warn that people should be cautious in drawing hasty conclusions from this report, as it only covers six months of data.
Majority were white, college educated, had health insurance provided by either private or state carriers, and were receiving hospice or palliative care.
OR adopted the law in 1997. "In California, terminally ill patients committed to mental institutions can request assisted suicide and be released so they can kill themselves". Patients must reaffirm their request 48 hours before taking the medication. 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.
Doctor-assisted aid-in-dying is different from physician-assisted suicide, also known as euthanasia, which is still illegal in every state.