Success! And More Work Ahead!
Please help us stay ahead of the curve. Donate today.
On May 2nd, as a result of PCV's research, education and advocacy, the State of Vermont removed the residency requirement from our medical aid in dying law.
This landmark change is a huge step forward for compassion and end-of-life choice. Now, any patient who meets the requirements listed in Act 39 can come to Vermont to apply for this important option.
As we mark the 10th anniversary of the passage of Act 39, this far-reaching change also presents increasing challenges for PCV in our vital role as the key resource in Vermont for medical aid in dying information. Our small staff and dedicated team of volunteers is already receiving a greatly increased volume of calls, questions, and requests for professional updates and training from both in-state and out-of-state. We are ready to step up and meet this demand, but we do need your help to do it.
Please consider a donation of $30, $60 or, if you are able, $200, $500, or $1,000.
If you prefer, you can mail a check to:
Patient Choices Vermont
PO Box 671
Shelburne, VT 05482
Together, we will:
I ask that you think about what end-of-life choice means to you and consider making PCV one of your priority contributions. End of life is a deeply sensitive and personal time, one in which we all wish for peace, freedom, and connection. Your contribution really makes a difference.
Betsy J. Walkerman, Esq., President
Patient Choices Vermont
Success Achieved with Your Support
In a huge step for compassion at the end of life, the State of Vermont has just opened the option of medical aid in dying to people regardless of where they live.
Removal of the Act 39 residency restriction is far more than a political victory. The overwhelming support in the legislature and signature by the Governor demonstrate how, together, we have accomplished a pivotal shift in cultural attitudes toward end-of-life choice here in Vermont. Since the founding of PCV twenty-one years ago, medical aid in dying has become a widely valued and respected option in the continuum of end-of-life care.
Advocates Praise the Vermont Legislature and Governor for Removing the Residency Requirement from the State’s Medical Aid-in-Dying Law
Vermont’s Action Will Help Terminally Ill Adults in Other States Access Peaceful Dying Option
Advocates for improving end-of-life care options for terminally ill adults praised the Vermont legislature and Governor Phil Scott (R-Vt.) for becoming the first state to remove the residency requirement from its medical aid-in-dying law.
Vermont Senate Passes H.190
Vermont is just one final step away from eliminating the residency requirement from our medical-aid-in-dying law, Act 39.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to members of the Vermont Senate who overwhelmingly passed H.190 yesterday. In particular, our thanks go out to Senator Ginny Lyons, Chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and the committee members who carefully considered this bill.
We are pleased to report that the Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare voted on Thursday, April 14, 2023 to recommend House Bill 190, which would remove the residency requirement from our medical-aid-in-dying law, Act 39. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.
Patient Choices Vermont (PCV) is pleased to celebrate the settlement of a lawsuit filed last August challenging the constitutionality of the Vermont residency requirement in our medical-aid-in-dying law (Act 39). The settlement means that plaintiff Lynda Shannon Bluestein, a terminally ill cancer patient from Connecticut, will now have access to medical-aid-in-dying services in Vermont. The settlement further stipulates that Vermont officials will support removal of the residency requirement from the law.
Act 39, adopted in May 2013, enables terminally ill Vermonters who are capable of making their own medical decisions, to request and receive medication to bring about a hastened death at a time of their choosing. Act 39, like similar medical-aid-in-dying laws in other states, currently makes end-of-life choice only available to Vermont state residents.
Brave Little State explores the complexities of medical aid in dying, broadcast live on Vermont Public
Josh Crane, reporter and producer for Brave Little State with Vermont Public says, "If you’re like me, you may not have realized Vermont is one of just 10 states with a Medical- Aid-in-Dying (MAiD) law on the books. Act 39, as it’s known here, passed in 2013. And there’s a bunch of criteria you must meet in order to use it, like being a Vermont resident over the age of 18 with a terminal illness."
When you are sick, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you will receive complete and accurate information about your illness and your options. On a recent Vermont Edition program on medical aid in dying, a caller related her mother’s story:
“My mom was in hospice for 18 months and it was long and arduous… after she died, I wanted to ask her doctor why that option (medical aid in dying) was not offered to her.”
We are very pleased to welcome Audrey Winograd to our team.
Audrey is a lawyer and hospice-trained medical social worker with experience in neurology, oncology, chronic disease, and end-of-life care. She holds a law degree from Rutgers University, a Masters in Organizational Development from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Social work from the University of Vermont. Audrey brings 40 years of experience in the field of organizational and community work, personal empowerment and patient-centered care. As a medical psycho-therapist she empowers clients to enhance one’s lived experience today, while engaging in shared decision making for tomorrow.
On Thursday, August 25, 2022, Patient Choices Vermont (PCV) Board Member Dr. Diana Barnard, in collaboration with the national organization Compassion & Choices and Lynda Bluestein, a terminally ill Connecticut resident seeking medical aid in dying, filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the residency requirement contained in Vermont's Act 39. PCV applauds this work and stands ready to educate the public about the availability of medical aid in dying across state lines.