Monitoring how Act 39 works for Vermonters who want to consider medical aid in dying is a key mission at Patient Choices Vermont (PCV). In recent emails we have discussed some of the challenges they face, especially in connection with the law's approval process. As Dee Allen, a recent recipient of medical aid in dying, says:
“The timeline requirements can make it so that you don’t have access to the law.”
Following a comprehensive review over the past nine months, PCV shared our findings with key legislators who have now introduced S.74 to modify Act 39 in important ways. The amendment would:
These improvements can be achieved while retaining the comprehensive system of strong safeguards already in place under Act 39.
Please see our Act 39 and S.74 Summary for a greater explanation.
To bring real lives into the picture, we have completed another short video. Many thanks to Dee Allen and her family for sharing her story just a few days before she died in December, 2020.
If you haven't yet seen the 5-minute video of Karen Oelschlaeger, please spend a few minutes to watch it as well on the Videos Page of our website.
Thank you as always for your interest and support. As Dee Allen says in our new video,
“The gift is that I get to go out while I can still tell my children that I love them.”
Your support helps make the creation of these poignant videos and all of PCV’s work possible. At a time when the legislature and much of the medical system are working hard via remote meetings, all of our best communication skills are needed to inform and provide a true sense of how aid in dying is having a profound impact on Vermonter’s lives.
Betsy Walkerman, President
Patient Choices Vermont