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Terminally Ill Persons Can Now Travel to Vermont to Take Advantage of Its Medical Aid In Dying Law

May 12, 2023

Terminally ill persons in Massachusetts have no assisted suicide option under Massachusetts law, but now they can travel to Vermont for that purpose. On May 2, 2023, Vermont changed its “medical aid in dying” law to allow terminally ill persons from other states to take advantage of it to end their lives. (There are nine other states that have an assisted suicide law, but, with the exception of Oregon, those states limit the availability of their laws to their state residents.)

Vermont’s law requires that those who seek to use it be capable of making and communicating their health care decision to a physician. Patients are required to make two requests orally to the physician and then to submit a written request that is signed in the presence of two or more witnesses who are not interested persons (which includes relatives and other persons who could end up inheriting early). Witnesses must sign and confirm that the patient appeared to understand the nature of the written request and was free from duress or undue influence at the time. The law, not yet updated to remove the Vermont residency requirement, can be found at , and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at

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