Every year, hundreds of Californians have resorted to euthanasia: what was the reason for the adoption of the law

The California law, which entered into force in June 2016, allows terminally ill adults in the state to independently take medication that will help them to die. The adoption of this law was associated with Brittany Maynard. This writes the OCRegister.

Каждый год сотни калифорнийцев прибегают к эвтаназии: что стало причиной принятия закона

Photo: Depositphotos

From June 2016 to 2018 were issued 1108 prescriptions for lethal medications.

807 people, or 72.8 percent, died after taking drugs during this period.

86,7% of the deceased received care or palliative care.

In 2018, 337 people died from taking drugs.

Of the 337 almost 90% were aged 60 and over; of 94.4% had health insurance; and 88,1% received care or palliative care.

This corresponds to 12.6 per 10 000 deaths in California (337 47743 of the 268 deaths) in 2018.

According to the Department of health of the state of California, in 2018 to make euthanasia wanted by more people than eventually got permission. In accordance with the law, people must make two oral request to the physician at intervals of not less than 15 days. While 531 people made these requests, there were only 452 of the recipe.

According to the authorities of the state, these recipes were written out 180 different doctors. The most common recipes have been given a sedative and the combination of cardiotonics, opioids, and sedatives.

Maynard became the face of the movement for euthanasia. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of California at Berkeley in 2006 and a master’s degree in education at the University of California in Irvine in 2010. She was fascinated by the world and sought to make it better, teaching in orphanages in Kathmandu and traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia and other countries.

In 2012 the Maynard married, soon began to suffer from severe headaches. 1 Jan 2014 she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Maynard underwent surgery, but the cancer returned in April of the same year. She was told that she left to live only six months.

“Because my tumor is so large, doctors prescribed full brain radiation, wrote Maynard. I read about the side effects: the hair on my head will burn, my scalp is covered with first degree burns. The quality of my life deteriorate, it will disappear.”

“After several months of research my family and I came to a heartbreaking conclusion: there is no treatment that would save my life and the recommended treatments simply destroy the remaining time,” added Maynard.

Maynard rejected the idea to die in a hospice because I was afraid of pain, personality changes, ” verbal, cognitive and motor loss.”

“Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to be physically long to hold on, even if the cancer eat my mind, — she wrote. I probably would have suffered in hospice care for several weeks or even months. My family would have to look at it.”

Instead, Maynard began to look for options of death with dignity — euthanasia.

“This is the end of life for the mentally healthy, but for terminally ill patients with a life expectancy not exceeding six months. I can get a doctor’s prescription that I can take by yourself to end your life if it becomes unbearable. I quickly decided that death with dignity was the best option for me and my family,” wrote Maynard.

But due to the fact that in California there was no law on death with dignity, the family had to move from California to Oregon, one of five States where at that time acted such a law. In recent weeks, she actively fought for the enactment of death with dignity in California, and her videos are watched by millions.

Maynard ended his life surrounded by loved ones on 1 November 2014. Her mother, Ziegler, continued to fight for the euthanasia act, and Governor Jerry brown signed the California law about the option at the end of life in October 2015.

The fight was not over. Opponents of the law sued, arguing that it effectively decriminalizes suicide. A riverside County judge rejected the law in 2018, stating that the legislature violated the state Constitution by passing a law during a special session devoted to healthcare issues, but an appeals court restored the law.

Maynard worked with Compassion&Choices, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people to “make their own choices about end of life”. The group has created a Fund Brittany Maynard to help the laws to legalize euthanasia in other States. Her mother remains an activist.

“Your most important legacy had more to do with life than with death — written by the mother of Maynard in Facebook. I’m trying to honor your memory by living your wild and precious life as you can. You showed us the way. What do we do with our one life? Try to live with courage and honesty you showed, my Hummingbird.”