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.