For the very ill, legally ending life is increasingly costly

(Reuters Health) – People with terminal illnesses may legally end their lives with certain medications in the U.S. state of Washington, but researchers report those drugs are getting more and more expensive.

The price of one popular drug prescribed under the state’s 2008 Death With Dignity Act increased roughly $2,500 over seven years.

“As a medical oncologist, I see patients who request death with dignity medications quite frequently,” said Dr. Veena Shankaran, of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

“There was one instance when a patient of mine asked how much it was going to cost, and I had no idea,” Shankaran, lead author of a paper in JAMA Oncology, told Reuters Health.

To examine the price of the medications, Shankaran and colleagues examined the 73 death with dignity prescriptions written and dispensed since 2010 at the…

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