The Vermont Legislature has voted to remove the residency requirement from Act 39, the Patient Choice at End of Life law, which has made MAID legal in Vermont since 2013. The amendment is on Governor Phil Scott’s desk awaiting his signature.
Safeguards still remain: patients must be mentally competent, terminally-ill adults with less than six months to live and these qualifications must be confirmed by two Vermont physicians. Furthermore, the patient must obtain and self-ingest the prescription medication in the state of Vermont. Of course, not everyone is able to travel to another state at the end of life and most want to die in their own home surrounded by loved ones, but lifting the residency requirement is a step in the right direction.
The Vermont website PatientChoices.org has up-to-date information, guidelines, check lists, and more for their MAID law. Kudos to Vermont for sending the important message that patients have the right to access medical care across state lines.