The Washington Health Department says at least 51 people have died in the state last year after requesting and taking a lethal prescription through Washington's Death with Dignity law.
Lethal prescriptions were dispensed to a total of 87 people in 2010. Fifteen died before taking the medication. The state does not know the status of the other 15.
The Health Department's 2010 report on the Death with Dignity law is the first Washington report to cover an entire year. Last year's report, which covered about 10 months, showed that at least 36 people used a lethal dose to end their lives.
The executive director of a group that has advocated for the Washington law notes that the report shows that many different doctors have helped people die with dignity.