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111 People Chose Death Under California's Assisted Suicide Law


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In 2016, one hundred and eleven people died after requesting and taking life-ending drugs under California's assisted suicide law.

Eighty-seven percent were sixty years or older. Most were white, college-educated and receiving hospice or palliative care.

California is one of five states that have legalized assisted suicide. Colorado, Montana, Vermont, Washington state and Washington, D.C. also allow the practice.

What happens in California could pave the way for other states considering similar legislation, but California health officials warn that it's still too early to draw major conclusions about how the law, known as the End of Life Option Act, is playing out.

The act went into effect June 9, 2016. Advocates say it can prevent slow, painful deaths but critics say it can promote hasty decisions and waning support for palliative care.

A recent Lifeway survey shows that many evangelicals don't believe that assisted suicide is morally acceptable, although the majority of Americans disagree.

Oregon adopted the first assisted suicide law in 1997. It reports that 133 people died last year after receiving life-ending drugs that the law allows.

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About The Author


Heather Sells covers a variety of issues for CBN News ranging from religious liberty to Latino politics. She also serves as a news anchor and regularly moderates #CBNNewsNow, a new Facebook Live show on the CBN News Facebook page. In the last year she’s reported on stories across the country including ministries working in the midst of Chicago’s homicide crisis, the emerging debate over transgender rights and religious freedom and the Hispanic vote in Florida. She has also reported on the border crisis in McAllen, Texas, human trafficking in Brazil and backyard chicken farming in Brooklyn, New