NRL News

Vermont Euthanizes First Person From Out of State

by | Jan 8, 2024

By Joshua Mercer

A 76-year-old woman from Bridgeport, Connecticut, passed away in Vermont Thursday morning after legally giving herself a lethal injection.

Cancer patient Lynda Bluestein became the first person from out of state to die via “assisted suicide” in Vermont after she reached a legal settlement with the deep-blue state in March of last year.

Connecticut is one of the 80% of states where the deeply controversial practice is illegal. In fact, it is illegal in several other reliably Democratic states such as Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.

Per the Associated Press (AP), Bluestein sued Vermont in 2022 “claiming its residency requirement” for “assisted suicide” violated “the Constitution’s commerce, equal protection, and privileges and immunities clauses.”

The AP noted that before her settlement, Bluestein “didn’t know if she’d be able to choose how or when and whether her family, friends and dog would be with her when the time comes.”

Less than two months after Bluestein settled her case, Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed a law expanding the practice to non-residents. The move made Vermont just the second state, following Oregon, to allow out-of-staters the ability to die there via “assisted suicide.”

The Daily Wire reported, “Since its legalization in 2013, 200 individuals have died using Vermont’s medically assisted suicide.”

“Over 150 of those cases sought suicide due to cancer, including Bluestein, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer,” The Daily Wire continued. “Only those with a terminal illness given six months or less to live qualify for medically assisted suicide, and the individual must self-administer the medication.”

In addition to Vermont and Oregon, eight other states and the District of Columbia have legalized the practice, but only for in-state residents. These states are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Washington.

Montana is unique among the ten states with legal “assisted suicide” in that it allows the practice not because of any state-level law, but due to a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling.

“Assisted suicide” is illegal throughout the vast majority of the world. Only 14 countries allow it in some capacity.

In addition to the aforementioned 10 US states and DC, the practice is legal in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.

“Assisted suicide” deaths are particularly on the rise in America’s northern neighbor, where the practice has been legal since 2016.

In an interview with CatholicVote two months ago, Dr. Tim Millea said that “assisted suicide” is now “accounting for more than four percent of deaths in Canada.”

“So that’s one out of every 20 people that died,” continued Millea, the chair of the Catholic Medical Association’s Health Care Policy Committee. “[I]f you look at the obituaries in a newspaper, one out of 20 deceased was killed by a doctor.”

Editor’s note.  Joshua mercer writes for CatholicVote, where this column originally appeared.

Categories: Euthanasia