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More than 500 terminally ill Californians requested assisted-suicide in the last year

by AirTalk®

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Hospice volunteers caress the hands of terminally ill patient Annabelle Martin, 92, as her health quickly declined at the Hospice of Saint John on September 1, 2009 in Lakewood, Colorado. John Moore/Getty Images

More than 500 terminally ill Californians have requested prescriptions to end their lives since the law allowing physician-assisted suicide was implemented this time last year.

That number came out Thursday from the Compassion and Choices organization, which provides the public with information about the assisted dying process. The stats only represent the number of requests the advocacy group received directly, but it’s the first publicly available data on assisted dying in California.

California End of Life Option Act Year One infographic.
California End of Life Option Act Year One infographic. Compassion & Choices

The state has not yet released its own official numbers. The new law provides an option for terminally ill patients given six months or less to live. A hearing on a legal challenge to the assisted dying law in California is scheduled later this month.

AirTalk spoke with the national policy and program director of Compassion & Choices. Listen to the full interview by clicking the play button above.

Guest:

Kat West, National Director of Policy & Programs for Compassion & Choices

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