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TUESDAY, July 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Public support for physician-assisted death has plateaued in the United States, and the practice hasn’t soared as some had feared, a new study finds.

In places where it’s legal, physician-aided death remains rare. It’s confined mostly to cancer patients who are white, wealthy and well-educated, researchers found.

“The vast majority of dying patients don’t use physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia — don’t even think about it,” said lead researcher Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Less than 0.5 percent of deaths in Washington state are from physician-assisted suicide,” he said. Washington is one of five U.S. states where physician-aided death is legal. The others are California, Montana, Oregon and Vermont.

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US News & World Report

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