Monday, November 4, 2019

California 2018 assisted suicide report. 337 reported assisted suicide deaths.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



The 2018 California annual assisted suicide report is similar to other US jurisdictions were the report implies that the assisted suicide deaths were voluntary and self administered, but the information in the report does not address that subject.
Order the pamphlet - Shedding light on assisted suicide in America.
The California assisted suicide data is based on the reports from the doctors who carry-out the assisted suicide death. It is not possible, based on the reporting system, to uncover abuse of assisted suicide or uncover under-reported deaths.

According to the 2018 California assisted suicide report:
  • 452 prescriptions for lethal drugs were written resulting in 314 reported assisted suicide deaths. 
  • There were 23 reported assisted suicide deaths from lethal drugs prescribed in 2017.
  • There were 337 reported assisted suicide deaths in 2018.
  • There were 59 deaths from the underlying illness or other causes and 79 people where the death status was unknown.
There may be more assisted suicide deaths. Some of the 79 people who's status is unknown, may have died by assisted suicide.

Since assisted suicide was legalized on June 9, 2016, there have been 807 reported assisted suicide deaths. There were 374 reported assisted suicide deaths in 2017.

On May 15, 2018, Life Legal Defense successfully challenged California's assisted suicide law with Judge, Ottolia, overturning the California assisted suicide law by ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act in 2015. 


On Friday, June 15, the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside County California, issued a stay of the assisted suicide law, overturning the decision of Judge Ottolia to once again permit doctors in California to assist the suicide of patients.

Since assisted suicide was prohibited in California for several weeks in 2018, I anticipate that the number of assisted suicide deaths will increase substantially in 2019.

Recently a nurse plead not guilty to murder, in a California court, based on her allegedly injecting her friend with assisted suicide drugs. The case will be heard next year, but this case shows how lethal drugs can be used to kill someone outside of the law.

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