Thursday, May 11, 2023

Vermont allows out-of-staters to use assisted suicide law

DeathcertificateLast week, Vermont became the first state in the United States to change its residency requirements for the medically assisted suicide law to allow people out of state to utilize it and receive lethal medication. 

Last year, Oregon agreed to stop enforcing residency requirements and agreed to ask the Legislature to remove the residency requirement from the law in a court settlement. However, Vermont became the first to do so after settling with a Connecticut woman with terminal cancer. 

Proponents of medically assisted suicide applaud Vermont for the move. “We are grateful to Vermont lawmakers for recognizing that a state border should not determine if you die peacefully or in agony,” said Kim Callinan, president, and CEO of Compassion & Choices. However, critics worry that this puts states at risk of becoming suicide tourism destinations.

Anyone wishing to utilize medically assisted suicide must adhere to the safeguards in place, including the requirement to communicate their healthcare decision to a physician in two requests: orally and written, which must be signed in the presence of two or more witnesses who are not interested parties. 

For more information see Lisa Rathke “Vermont allows out-of-staters to use assisted suicide law” AP News, May 2, 2023.

Special thanks to Deborah Matthews (Virginia Estate Planning Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.

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