Bioethics Blogs

California End of Life Option Act – 2016 Data Report

This week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released its Annual Report on the End of Life Options Act.

The Act, which became law June 9, 2016, allows qualified California terminally ill adults 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 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. Of the 111 individuals, 87.4 percent were more than 60 years of age, 96.4 percent were insured and 83.8 percent were receiving hospice and/or palliative care.

Data in the report comes from EOLA-mandated physician reporting forms and California death certificates. The first report covers the period from the effective date of the law to the end of year (June 9, 2016 – December 31, 2016) and subsequent reports will be for full calendar years.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.