In the first of its kind, Vermont is now a legal sanctuary state for assisted suicide.
The state is one of 10 that allows medical professionals to help end the lives of terminally ill patients. But Governor Phil Scott signed a new law just yesterday that removes a residency requirement.
Now, all Americans can travel to Vermont to pursue this end-of-life option. To qualify, they must tell a physician on two different occasions they want to die. They must also submit a documented request with two witness signatures.
Advocates praised the government for their decision and expressed hopes that other states would follow Vermont’s lead.
But Vermont Right to Life released a statement in opposition to the decision, saying it disagrees with the underlying concept. They claim vulnerable patients are not protected from coercion.
It’s a concern shared by bioethicist Dr. Antony Latham. He believes people have the right to compassionate care in their final days. He also warns that progressive laws widen the gap of who qualifies.