- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Oregon is allowing terminally ill patients from across the country to travel to the Beaver State for their assisted suicide procedure after the state relaxed its residency requirement last year, according to a report.

The nonprofit End of Life Choices Oregon has started advising people who had less than six months to live on how to comply with the state’s Death with Dignity law, according to a report from the Daily Mail.

That includes a Texas man with Lou Gehrig’s disease and a hospice patient from the East Coast, Portland physician Nicholas Gideonse told a panel, according to the Mail.   

“For a small number of patients who otherwise qualify or are determined to go through that and who have the energy and the resources … it has started to happen,” he said.

The state’s law, which went into effect in 1997, lets terminally ill people voluntarily end their lives with a lethal medical dose that’s prescribed by a physician.

Oregonians were the only ones who could access the service until the state agreed last year to allow nonresidents to go through with the procedure — as long as they spent at least 15 days in the state.

The change in guidelines for who can make use of Oregon’s assisted suicide procedure came after Dr. Gideonse sued the state over the constitutionality of its residency requirement in 2021. The state agreed to lift the residency rule as a part of a settlement last year. 

The new rule is expected to be codified into law later this year, according to the Mail.

Oregon isn’t the only state relaxing its requirements for assisted suicide. 

Vermont lets patients be prescribed suicide-facilitating medicine after consulting a doctor over Zoom or Skype. The law says the doctor doesn’t have to physically examine the patient or meet in person.

Other states that have assisted suicide laws are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Washington state and Washington, D.C.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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