Vermont on Tuesday became the first state in the United States to eliminate the requirement that anyone seeking assisted suicide be a resident of the state.
The state is one of ten states in the US that allows assisted suicide. The others are Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The Vermont residency waiver signed by Republican Gov. Phil Scott opens the door to a concept known as “suicide tourism,” which involves travel to a jurisdiction where euthanasia is legal.
Before Vermont revoked its stay on Tuesday, it reached an agreement with a terminally ill woman in Connecticut that allowed her to benefit from the laws of Vermont provided she complies with other aspects thereof.
US states are following Canada’s lead in liberalizing laws on assisted suicide to what critics call euthanasia for all.
Republican CEO Phil Scott signs bill that would remove residency requirement for decades-old euthanasia law
Ten states and the District of Columbia allow assisted suicide. Seven states are considering their own medical assistance in dying (MAiD) laws this session, while others are relaxing their rules
Last year, the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Medical Board agreed to stop enforcing the residency requirement and ask lawmakers to remove it from the euthanasia law, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion & Choices, a nonprofit advocacy group that objected to Oregon’s residency requirements last year, said, “We are grateful to Vermont lawmakers for recognizing that a state line should not determine whether you live peacefully or die freedom.need.
“Patients often travel to other states to access the best healthcare options. There’s no good reason why they couldn’t travel to another state to get medical care if the state they live in doesn’t offer it.’
Under the Vermont Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life Act, residents who have an incurable and irreversible illness that, based on reasonable medical judgment, would result in death within six months are entitled to assisted suicide.
They must be able to self-administer the medication and make their own healthcare decisions. Interested patients must make two oral applications to the doctor within a specified time limit, and then submit a written application, which they sign in the presence of two or more disinterested witnesses.
Next, witnesses must sign and confirm that the patient appears to have understood the nature of the document and was free from coercion or undue influence at the time.
Oregon has been criticized for increasing assisted suicide and “death tourists”.
A record number of people ended their lives last year in America’s most advanced assisted suicide program in Oregon. Last year, 431 people received lethal orders under the state’s Death With Dignity Act (DWDA).
But critics of assisted suicide worry that there are not enough safeguards in place to protect people with disabilities who may be sent to end-of-life care.
The main opponents of assisted suicide include the Catholic Church and opponents of abortion.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “assisted-suicide statutes appear to limit eligibility to terminally ill patients who are expected to die within six months, but they do not distinguish between those who will die within six months with treatment and those who do it dies within six months without treatment.
“This means that patients with treatable diseases (such as diabetes or chronic respiratory or heart disease) and patients with disabilities who require ventilator support are all candidates for lethal drugs, because without the treatment they would normally receive, they would die within six months.
And in New Hampshire, where euthanasia bills have repeatedly failed in the legislature, the anti-abortion group Right to Life opposes them[s] all forms of suicide, whether supervised or not, because of the self-evident truth that life is an inalienable right. No one can have the right to take his own life or another person’s life, because only God, who created this human life, has that authority.’
Crystal Leahy is an author and health journalist who writes for The Fashion Vibes. With a background in health and wellness, Crystal has a passion for helping people live their best lives through healthy habits and lifestyles.