For Immediate Release
Contact: Peg Sandeen, MSW, Executive Director
Death with Dignity National Center
Death with Dignity National Center, the nonprofit organization which advanced and defends the groundbreaking Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity Acts, applauds Vermont lawmakers for making Vermont the third state in the US allowing for safeguarded assisted death. With Governor Peter Shumlin’s signature today, Vermont took a historic step forward by becoming the first state to pass a law modeled on the groundbreaking Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity Acts through a legislative process.
“Twenty years ago this summer, I led a small group which proposed a new idea: terminally ill adults should be able to determine the timing and manner of their deaths within certain, well-defined guidelines if they desired. What was once a novel idea, has become model legislation, codified in other states.” said Eli Stutsman, lead author of the Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity Acts and founding board member of the Death with Dignity National Center.
“We applaud the lawmakers in Vermont for taking a bold step toward expanding end-of-life options for terminally ill Vermonters,” said Peg Sandeen, Executive Director of the Death with Dignity National Center. “Vermont’s new law echoes the growing call throughout the US for policy reform around assisted death.”
Today’s historic event comes after over 10 years of diligent work by Patient Choices Vermont. Sandeen added, “We have been committed to policy reform efforts in Vermont for over 10 years, and we are proud to partner with the dedicated individuals involved in Patient Choices Vermont. Vermont lawmakers have shown their commitment to respecting their constituents’ wishes for more end-of-life options.”
The new Vermont law emulates the Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity Acts and provides guidance for terminally ill individuals seeking a peaceful death by ingesting prescribed medication. With the new law, patients are able to die in the comfort of their own homes and say their final goodbyes to loved ones.
The Death with Dignity National Center is proud to have partnered with Patient Choices Vermont to bridge the US in advocating for safeguarded assisted death laws like the ones in Oregon, Washington, and now Vermont.
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