Politics Shift as Lawmakers Embrace Nationwide Support for End-of-Life Choices
May 13, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's leading end-of-life choice advocacy group,
Compassion & Choices
, praised the
legislature for becoming the first legislative body in the nation to approve death-with-dignity legislation.
Gov. Peter Shumlin has vowed to sign the bill into law
"This historic legislative victory proves that the aid-in-dying issue is no longer the third rail of politics. In fact, it's a winning issue on which Gov. Shumlin campaigned," said
Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee
, an ER and ICU nurse and physician assistant who co-authored the
nation's first Death-with-Dignity law in Oregon
and was a senior advisor for the
nation's second Death-with-Dignity law in Washington state
, both approved by ballot initiatives. "We congratulate
Patient Choices Vermont
for its leadership of this multi-year campaign. Their success shows aid in dying has become a legislative winner."
"Legislators now are embracing the
high margin of public support for end-of-life choices nationwide
," added Coombs Lee. "This bill's passage should enable legislatures in
and other states that are considering aid-in-dying bills to approve them."
bill provides criminal, civil and professional protections for physicians who prescribe medication to mentally competent, terminally ill patients that they can ingest to achieve a peaceful death. It has requirements similar to the
laws, but the
requirements would expire after a 3-year period and then professional practice standards would govern the practice of aid in dying.
"Professional practice standards have successfully governed aid in dying in
for three years, and for the past two years in
Compassion & Choices Legal Affairs Director Kathryn Tucker
testified before both the Vermont House and Senate in favor of the bill
and was co-counsel in a landmark case,
Baxter v. Montana
, in which the Montana Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that the public policy of the state supports mentally competent, terminally ill patients being able to choose aid in dying. "Professional practice standards guide all of medicine and it is appropriate for aid in dying to be governed in this manner."
With over 30 local groups and 40,000 members and supporters throughout the United States, Compassion & Choices leads the movement for end-of-life choice. We support, educate and advocate. Learn more at
SOURCE Compassion & Choices