On May 20, 2013, Act 39, Vermont Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life Act went into effect, when Governor Shumlin signed it into law. The law is currently in effect giving terminally ill, mentally capable Vermont residents with six months or less to live the option to request a prescription medication to end unbearable suffering. Patient Choices Vermont leads Vermont-based efforts to implement the law.

In 2022, the law was improved to make three important changes. 

  • Removed the requirement that medication requests and an examination be done in the physical presence of a physician. 

  • Remove the requirement that the physician must have waited at least 48 hours after the occurrence of certain required events before writing the prescription. 

  • Extend immunities to any person who acts in good faith compliance with the provisions of the law.

In 2023, S. 26 was introduced. S. 26 would amend the Vermont law to remove the residency requirement. Medical aid in dying should be available to all qualified patients, regardless of their zip code. The process of establishing residency in a new state while terminally ill is an extremely burdensome and expensive process that no one should have to endure. The residency restriction is a barrier to accessing medical aid in dying for dying people who live in a jurisdiction where the practice is not yet authorized. Additionally, a significant number of terminally ill people residing in jurisdictions where medical aid in dying is authorized have also been adversely impacted by these restrictions, as many receive their regular medical care across state lines. Further, the residency restriction is out-of-step with all other medical care provided in the United States.
Patient Choices Vermont is a 501c3 organization that educates Vermonters on medical aid in dying and patient choice.

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Tools and Resources

simple blue medical cross graphic.For Patients Access the Vermont Advance Directive  



tools for end of life planning and decision making.End-of-Life Planning Use our step-by-step guide to chart your journey.  



advance care planning and resources in Spanish, espanol.Los recursos en Español Los recursos en Español.  



answers to questions about COVID-19, including treatment and end of life.COVID-19 Toolkit Get answers to your questions about COVID-19 and end of life care.  



tools for end of life planning and decision making.Resources for Providers Find resources tailored to the needs of healthcare providers.