Friday, January 5, 2024

Vermont assisted suicide deaths more than quadruple.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

According to the Vermont Department of Health, the number of assisted suicide deaths more than quadrupled in the past two years. According to the report, in the past two years there were 72 reported assisted suicide deaths which was up from 17 reported assisted suicide deaths in the previous two years.

The latest assisted suicide report from the Vermont Department of Health indicates that there were 85 "reportable events" between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023 which was up from 29 "reportable events" between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2021 in the previous report. The new report also indicates that since assisted suicide was legalized in 2013 there have been 203 "reportable events."

According to the Vermont report:

Eighty-four out of the eighty-five total reportable events have a death certificate on file with the Vermont Vital Records’ Office. All of the available death certificates list the appropriate cause (the underlying disease) and manner of death (natural), per Act 39 (2013) requirements.

Notice how the Vermont law requires falsification of the death certificate.

The Vermont report indicated that of the 84 death certificates, 72 died by assisted suicide, 8 died from their underlying disease, 1 died from another cause and in 3 deaths, the cause was unknown.

The report from two years ago stated that of the 29 death certificates, 17 died by assisted suicide, 10 died from their underlying disease, 1 died from another cause and in 1 death the cause was unknown.

When the cause of death is unknown, the person may have died by assisted suicide but no report was received.

The increase in Vermont assisted suicide deaths is partly due to the expansions of the Vermont assisted suicide law.

In 2022 Vermont passed assisted suicide bill S74 which expanded assisted suicide by allowing assisted suicide by telemedicine, (permitting a doctor to prescribe lethal assisted suicide poisons without directly examining the person), eliminating the 48 hour waiting period before prescribing the lethal drugs and defining assisted suicide as a "healthcare service."

On March 14, 2023 Vermont's Attorney General's Office reached an agreement with the assisted suicide lobby to remove the residency requirement for assisted suicide in Vermont. A recent media report indicated that a Connecticut woman recently died by assisted suicide in Vermont.

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