Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to be a Vermont Resident to Use Act 39?
A: Yes, you must a Vermont resident. The prescribing doctor is the person who must confirm that you are a Vermont resident before you can qualify under Act 39. Factors to be considered may include whether you own or lease a residence in Vermont, whether you have a Vermont driver's license, whether you filed a tax return in Vermont, and whether you are registered to vote in Vermont.
Q: Can PCV Recommend a Doctor who will Prescribe under Act 39?
A: PCV does not maintain a list of doctors and is not able to make referrals. We encourage patients whose doctors are not willing to prescribe under Act 39 to specifically ask their doctor for a referral to another physician. This kind of referral is no different than a referral for any other kind of specialty.
Q: Can doctors who work in the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) system prescribe under Act 39?
A: PCV has confirmed with the DHMC Chief Medical Officer that DHMC doctors who are licensed in Vermont CAN serve Vermont patients who are interested in medical aid in dying. Patients of DHMC who want to pursue Act 39 should ask their doctors if they are licensed in Vermont and if not, request a referral to a DHMC doctor who is licensed in Vermont. Persistence may be needed. Currently DHMC has no formal procedure for helping their doctors with these referrals. PCV is working to encourage DHMC to establish such procedures and appropriate training. Patients who do not receive an appropriate referral can contact PCV, and we will do our best to assist you.
Q: Is it true that there's just one pharmacy filling Act 39 prescriptions?
A: Due to PCV's outreach work, there are now three pharmacies filling prescriptions. We are working to expand this network. You or your doctor can contact us for the most recent list. See also our March newsletter.