SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today released the 2017 End of Life Option Act (Act) Annual Report. The Act, which became law June 9, 2016, allows qualified individuals diagnosed with a terminal disease to obtain and self-administer aid-in-dying drugs. The Act requires CDPH to provide annual reports, including information on the number of prescriptions written and the number of known individuals who died using aid-in-dying drugs. Additionally, the report includes demographic information on these individuals, including age and underlying illness.
In this report, for the year January 1 – December 31, 2017, 577 individuals received aid-in-dying drugs under the Act, and 374 people died following ingestion of the prescribed drugs. Of the 374 individuals, 90.4 percent were more than 60 years of age, 95.2 percent were insured and 83.4 percent were receiving hospice and/or palliative care.
Data in the report comes from Act-mandated physician reporting forms and California death certificates. This is the first full year of data reported. The first report contained data from June 9, 2016 – December 31, 2016.
For more information about the End of Life Option Act and to read the report, visit CDPH’s website.