Study shows 5000 Americans Have Used MAID Laws

An article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society calculated the number of Americans to have availed themselves of Medical Aid in Dying laws in the 11 US jurisdictions where the procedure has been authorized.  Nearly 5,400 terminally ill individuals used MAID to obtain aid-in-dying medication in the first-of-its kind study led by the Rutgers School of Public Health.

What is fascinating in the study is how similar the data is from each of the states, in terms of the average age of the patient, the cause of death, the socio-economic background and the rationale for utilizing the laws.

It also bears emphasis how rarely MAID is invoked.  In the state with the longest history of MAID access, Oregon, 23 years after enactment, less than 1% of deaths are attributable to MAID.  In the other states, the utilization ranges from 0.1% to 0.5%.  In short, MAID which is subject to a host of limiting safeguards remains largely outside the mainstream of how people in America choose to die.  This is due in part to its inaccessibility even in states where authorized because of the opt-out clauses for religiously affiliated hospitals or clinicians.

MAID deaths by State since enactment