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(LifeSiteNews) — California assisted suicides are up 63 percent in one year according to the latest data from the state.

The latest report by the state includes the data for 2022 assisted suicides. It shows that “853 individuals died following their ingestion of the prescribed aid- in-dying drug(s), which includes 50 individuals who received prescriptions prior to 2022.”

In 2021, 522 people died after taking drugs prescribed under the law. This means there was a 63 percent increase between 2021 and 2022.

The report shows that not everyone who asked for the drugs took them to kill themselves.

A total of 1,270 individuals requested the suicide drugs in 2022, but only a confirmed 803 of those killed themselves. Another 173 died from an underlying illness while 294 have an “unknown ingestion status.” Approximately 92 percent were older than 60. A majority, over 60 percent, had a college degree and most had cancer.

The increase in assisted suicides follows changes to state law which makes removed some of the safeguards.

“The surge in assisted suicides came after California lawmakers in 2021 backed a law that shortened from 15 days to 48 hours the time needed to apply for a cocktail of suicide drugs,” the Daily Mail noted. “That law took effect in January.”

“It’s no wonder that the number of assisted suicides soared in the year after the California legislature effectively removed the original 15-day cooling-off period,” Matt Valliere, director of the Patients’ Rights Action Fund, told the British publication.

“Most Medi-Cal patients cannot get a mental health consult in less than 72 hours and are not guaranteed palliative care, but now, they can get suicide drugs in 48 hours and the state will pay for it every time,” Valliere said.

READ: California backs down on forcing doctors to participate in assisted suicide in pro-life victory

Hawaii has followed suit with California, making it easier and quicker for individuals who plan to kill themselves. “Democrat Gov. Josh Green, who is a retired oncologist, signed a law reducing that period by 75 percent, to just five days,” LifeSiteNews previously reported. “The new law also lets doctors waive that period entirely if a patient is terminally ill and expected to die sooner than five days.”

So-called “physician-assisted suicide” has drawn opposition from opponents across the political spectrum, including not just Catholics and conservative Protestants, but also disability rights activists and the American Medical Association, which typically supports liberal social issues such as abortion and transgenderism.

“Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks,” the AMA Code of Ethics states.

The Catholic Church condemns both euthanasia and assisted suicide. A 2020 letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) called the related acts “intrinsically evil.”

“Each life has the same value and dignity for everyone: the respect of the life of another is the same as the respect owed to one’s own life,” the CDF stated. “One who choses with full liberty to take one’s own life breaks one’s relationship with God and with others, and renounces oneself as a moral subject. Assisted suicide aggravates the gravity of this act because it implicates another in one’s own despair.”

“Another person is led to turn his will from the mystery of God in the theological virtue of hope and thus to repudiate the authentic value of life and to break the covenant that establishes the human family,” the CDF wrote. “Assisting in a suicide is an unjustified collaboration in an unlawful act that contradicts the theologal relationship with God and the moral relationship that unites us with others who share the gift of life and the meaning of existence.”