1,212 reported assisted suicide deaths since June 2016
By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The 2019 California annual assisted suicide report is similar to other U.S. jurisdictions where the report implies that the assisted suicide deaths were voluntary and self-.administered. In truth, the information in the California End of Life Option report does not address that subject.
The California assisted suicide data comes from the reports submitted by the doctors who carry-out the assisted suicide death. So, it is not possible, based on the reporting system, to uncover under-reporting or abuse of assisted suicide.
According to the 2019 California assisted suicide report:
- In 2019, 618 prescriptions for lethal drugs were written, up from 452 in 2018.
- In 2019 there were 405 reported assisted suicide deaths up from 337 in 2019.
- Out of 405 reported assisted suicide deaths, 27 received the lethal drugs in previous years.
- Out of 618 prescriptions for lethal drugs, 90 deaths were from the underlying illness or other causes.
- Out of 618 prescriptions for lethal drugs, the ingestion status is unknown in 150 cases. Eighty-two of the 150 are known to have died.
There may be more assisted suicide deaths.
Some of the 150 people whose ingestion status is unknown may have died by assisted suicide. It is likely that some of the 82 people who have died but the ingestion status is unknown, died by assisted suicide. The California assisted suicide law uses a self-reporting system making unreported assisted suicide deaths possible.
Last year a nurse plead not guilty to murder, in a California court. She allegedly injected her friend with assisted suicide drugs. The case shows how lethal drugs may have been used to kill someone outside of the law.
In December 2017, Steven Clute, a former California politician, was charged with assisting the suicide of his wife, Pamela, in August 2016.
From June 9, 2016–when assisted suicide was legalized–and December 31, 2019, there have been 1, 212 reported assisted suicide deaths.
Order the pamphlet – Shedding light on assisted suicide in America.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.