Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Connecticut woman seeks to die by assisted suicide in Vermont.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An assisted suicide lobby group has launched a lawsuit on August 26 on behalf of a woman in Connecticut and a doctor in New York to challenge the Vermont assisted suicide law's residency requirement. The Vermont assisted suicide law permits Vermont residents death by assisted suicide.

According to the Concord Monitor:

Lynda Bluestein, 75, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who has terminal fallopian tube cancer, and Dr. Diana Barnard, of Middlebury, Vermont, argue in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington that Vermont’s residency requirement violates the U.S. Constitution.

Barnard said in the lawsuit that she would like to be able to offer the end-of-life option to her patients who live in New York. The two women have been advocates on the issue in New York and Connecticut, which currently have no laws in place to allow for medically assisted suicide.

This is the second lawsuit launched by the assisted suicide lobby group, Compassion and Choices, to force states to allow assisted suicide tourism.

In October 2021, Compassion and Choices and Dr Nicholas Gideonse, an assisted suicide prescribing doctor, launched a court case challenging the Oregon assisted suicide residency requirement. The assisted suicide lobby wants to eliminate assisted suicide residency requirements to give every Americans access to dying by assisted suicide. The lawsuit was filed in the federal court, claiming that the residency requirement was unconstitutional. (Link to news article). 

Instead of defending the right of Oregon to limit assisted suicide to state residents, the Oregon goverment agreed to remove the residency requirement. A March 29, 2022 Associated Press article by Gene Johnson reported:

Oregon will no longer require people to be residents of the state to use its law allowing terminally ill people to receive lethal medication, after a lawsuit challenged the requirement as unconstitutional.

Compassion and Choices announced that they would pressure other states that had legalized assisted suicide to also eliminate their residency requirement. This court case will be one of many court cases that Compassion and Choices will file to pressure states that have legalized assisted suicide to permit suicide tourism.

The assisted suicide lobby realizes that most States will never legalize assisted suicide. It is their goal to establish death tourism in states that have legalized assisted suicide. This can only be accomplished if those states remove their state residency requirement.

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