A total of 111 people in California took their own lives using lethal prescriptions during the first six months of a law that allows terminally ill people to request life-ending drugs from their doctors, according to data released Tuesday.
They were among 191 people in the state who received the prescriptions from their doctors; not all ended up using the drugs to kill themselves, state health officials said.
The End of Life Option Act went into effect in June 2016, making California the fifth state in the nation to allow patients with less than six months to live to request end-of-life drugs from their doctors.
Deaths from aid-in-dying made up six out of every 10,000 deaths in California between June and December 2016, according to state officials. That’s much lower than the 2016 rate in Oregon, which was the first state to legalize physician-assisted dying in 1998. Last year, lethal prescriptions accounted for 37.2 per 10,000 deaths in Oregon
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