374 Californians Chose End-of-Life Option in 2017

Majority Suffered from Cancers

For adults with a terminal disease, since 2016 California has made aid-in-dying medication legal. Issued in June, an annual report, required in the End of Life Option Act, outlined the 374 people who made use of the law in 2017. Most were between the ages of 60 and 89, white, female (50.8 percent), and in hospice or on palliative care, and most had some college education as well as Medicare. The majority suffered from cancers (68.5 percent) of the lung, breast, head and neck, pancreas, or prostate. Ten percent had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or Parkinson’s, 8 percent were dying of cardiovascular disease, and 4-5 percent had respiratory, cerebrovascular, or other underlying diseases. To protect patient privacy, information by county was not available.


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