Vermont advances bill allowing assisted suicide for noncitizens

A Vermont legislative committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would make the state the second in the country to allow nonresidents to seek medically assisted suicide.

The House Human Services Committee approved the measure that would remove the residency requirement. A similar bill is in committee in the Senate.

The measure would have to be approved by both legislative chambers.

Vermont would join Oregon, which no longer requires people to be residents of the state to use its law allowing terminally ill people to receive lethal medication.

In a settlement filed in federal court last year, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Medical Board agreed to stop enforcing the residency requirement and to ask the Legislature to remove it from the law.

At the time, advocates said they would use the settlement to press eight other states and Washington, D.C., which have medically assisted suicide laws, to drop their residency requirements as well.

In addition to Vermont, other states that approved similar laws include California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and Washington.

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