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Historical Timeline

History of Medical Aid in Dying

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500 BC-16th Century AD

5th Century B.C.-1st Century B.C. - Ancient Greeks and Romans Tend to Support Euthanasia

"In ancient Greece and Rome, before the coming of Christianity, attitudes toward infanticide, active euthanasia, and suicide had tended to be tolerant. Many ancient Greeks and Romans had no cogently defined belief in the inherent value of individual human life, and pagan physicians likely performed frequent abortions as well as both voluntary and involuntary mercy killings. Although the Hippocratic Oath prohibited doctors from giving 'a deadly drug to anybody, not even if asked for,' or from suggesting such a course of action, few ancient Greek or Roman physicians followed the oath faithfully. Throughout classical antiquity, there was widespread support for voluntary death as opposed to prolonged agony, and physicians complied by often giving their patients the poisons they requested."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

12th Century-15th Century - Christian Views on Euthanasia Reinforce Hippocratic Oath

The ascendancy of Christianity, with its view that human life is a trust from God, reinforced the views of the Hippocratic school [which forbid euthanasia]. By the twelfth through fifteenth centuries, it culminated in the near unanimity of medical opinion in opposing euthanasia."

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Killing or Caring?, 1998

13th Century - During Middle Ages Christians and Jews Tend to Oppose Euthanasia

"Since ancient times, Jewish and Christian thinkers have opposed suicide as inconsistent with the human good and with responsibilities to God. In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas espoused Catholic teaching about suicide in arguments that would shape Christian thought about suicide for centuries. Aquinas condemned suicide as wrong because it contravenes one's duty to oneself and the natural inclination of self-perpetuation; because it injures other people and the community of which the individual is a part; and because it violates God's authority over life, which is God's gift. This position exemplified attitudes about suicide that prevailed from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and Reformation."

New York State Task Force on Life and the Law , When Death Is Sought: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Medical Context, 1994

17th Century-19th Century

17th Century - Common Law Tradition Prohibits Suicide and Assisted Suicide in the American Colonies

"For over 700 years, the Anglo American common law tradition has punished or otherwise disapproved of both suicide and assisting suicide... For the most part, the early American colonies adopted the common law approach. For example, the legislators of the Providence Plantations, which would later become Rhode Island, declared, in 1647, that '[s]elf murder is by all agreed to be the most unnatural, and it is by this present Assembly declared, to be that, wherein he that doth it, kills himself out of a premeditated hatred against his own life or other humor...his goods and chattels are the king's custom.'"

Washington v. Glucksberg, 1997

17th-18th Century - Renaissance and Reformation Writers Challenge Church Opposition to Euthanasia

"No serious discussion of euthanasia was even possible in Christian Europe until the eighteenth-century Englightment. Suddenly, writers assaulted the church's authoritative teaching on all matters, including euthanasia and suicide... While writers challenged the authority of the church with regard to ethical matters, there was no real widespread interest in the issues of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide during that time."

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Killing or Caring?, 1998

Late 18th Century - American Evangelical Christians Reject Suicide and Euthanasia

"Enlightenment toleration of suicide proved to be temporary. Under the leadership of evangelicals...a vigorous religious counterattack gained momentum as the late eighteenth century drew to a close. The various waves of religious revivalism, starting with the Great Awakening of the mid-1700s, prevented secularists and agnostics on either side of the Atlantic Ocean from generating popular support for taking one's life. These events dovetailed with the Second Great Awakening of intense evangelical fervor in the first years of the nineteenth century and strengthened the condemnation of suicide and euthanasia that stretched back to the earliest days of colonial America.

The rejection of suicide and euthanasia remained firm, even after many of the new states decriminalized suicide in the wake of the Revolutionary War. The majority of Americans rejected suicide's common-law punishment...but no matter how sympathetic they were toward the suicide's family, most Americans stopped far short of condoning self-murder. As late as the antebellum period there existed in the United States a firm consensus...against suicide and mercy killing."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1828 - First US Statute Outlawing Assisted Suicide Enacted in New York

"The earliest American statute explicitly to outlaw assisting suicide is enacted in New York. It is the Act of Dec. 10, 1828, ch. 20, §4, 1828 N. Y. Laws 19. Many of the new States and Territories followed New York's example… Between 1857 and 1865, a New York commission led by Dudley Field drafted a criminal code that prohibited 'aiding' a suicide and, specifically, 'furnish[ing] another person with any deadly weapon or poisonous drug, knowing that such person intends to use such weapon or drug in taking his own life'… By the time the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, it was a crime in most States to assist a suicide… The Field Penal Code was adopted in the Dakota Territory in 1877, in New York in 1881, and its language served as a model for several other western States' statutes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries… California, for example, codified its assisted suicide prohibition in 1874, using language similar to the Field Code's."

Washington v. Glucksberg, 1997

1870s - Samuel Williams Begins to Publically Advocate Using Morphine and Other Drugs for Euthanasia

"An important milestone in the euthanasia debate was the isolation of morphine in the nineteenth cenutry and its widespread use as an analgesic [a pain-relieving agent]... When the practice of analgesia had become reasonably well established, Samuel Williams, a nonphysician, began to advocate the use of these drugs not only to alleviate terminal pain, but to intentionally end a patient's life... During the late 1800s, Williams' euthanasia proposal received serious attention in the medical journals and at scientific meetings. Still, most physicians held the view that pain medication could be administered to alleviate pain, but not to hasten death."

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Killing or Caring?, 1998

1885 - American Medical Association Opposes Euthanasia

The Journal of the American Medical Association attacks Samuel Williams' euthanasia proposal as an attempt to make "the physician don the robes of an executioner."

"The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain," Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 15, 1994


1905-1906 - Bills to Legalize Euthanasia Are Defeated in Ohio

"By the turn of the century, medical science had made great strides. As physicians who used the modern scientific method and modern principles of pharmacology consolidated their control over university and medical school training, the euthanasia debate entered the lay press and political forums. In 1905-1906, a bill to legalize euthanasia was defeated in the Ohio legislature by a vote of 79 to 23. In 1906, a similar initiative that would legalize euthanasia not only for terminal adults, but also for 'hideously deformed or idiotic children' was introduced and defeated as well. After 1906, the public interest in euthanasia receded."

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Killing or Caring?, 1998

1915 - Dr. Haiselden Allows Deformed Baby Boy to Die Rather Than Give Him Possibly Lifesaving Surgery

"In the early hours of 12 November 1915, at Chicago's German-American Hospital, Anna Bollinger gave birth to her fourth child, a seven-pound baby boy...the baby was blue and badly deformed. After conferring with the father, the doctor awakened Harry J. Haiselden, the hospital's forty-five-year-old chief of staff. Haiselden diagnosed a litany of physical defects... He predicted that, without surgery...the child would die shortly...

In a decision whose shockwaves would ripple from coast to coast, and mark a milestone in the history of euthanasia in America, Haiselden advised against surgery. The Bollingers tearfully agreed and, on 16 November, Haiselden called a news conference to announce that, rather than operate, he would 'merely stand by passively' and 'let nature complete its bungled job.' The child died on 17 November, amid growing controversy.

By declining to operate, Haiselden...almost singlehandedly managed to accomplish what other defenders of euthanasia before him had not. He not only got more Americans than ever before talking about euthanasia, but also won endorsements from numerous prominent figures. The publicity surrounding his professional conduct, briefly eclipsing news from World War I, inspired other Americans to speak out in favor of letting deformed infants die for the good of society... Haiselden demonstrated how support for euthanasia was nurtured by a cultural climate punctuated by science, naturalism, and humanitarian reform."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1917 - The Black Stork Film Causes Controversy over Infant Euthanasia

"The Black Stork, a feature film from 1917, dramatically expresses the anxieties people had about medicine and disability during this period: disability was equated with disease, doctors claimed absolute authority... The film was inspired by the sensational case of Dr. Harry Haiselden, a Chicago surgeon who convinced the parents of a newborn with multiple disabilities to let the child die instead of performing surgery that would save its life... Haiselden's activities brought forth a storm of public controversy in which all of the currently popular attitudes toward disability were expressed. Many prominent thinkers, including Clarence Darrow and Helen Keller, argued that physicians had the right and the duty to decide whether a life was worth living. Although it was widely accepted that doctors should make these decisions and act on them in their private practices, it was rare that the subject was argued in public."

"The Black Stork: Movie Ads," (accessed May 8, 2009)

1930s - Public Support for Euthanasia Increases as US Endures Great Depression

"The dispute over mercy killing, after subsiding in the 1920s, caught fire again in the 1930s, making these years a pivotal juncture in the history of euthanasia in America. With the coming of the Depression and more troubled economic times, Americans began talking again about suicide and controlled dying... Public opinion polls indicated in 1937 that fully 45 percent of Americans had caught up with Harry Haiselden's belief that the mercy killing of 'infants born permanently deformed or mentally handicapped' was permissible."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1935 - Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation Society Founded

The Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation Society (VELS) is founded in England by C. Killick Millard, a retired public health physician.

"The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain," Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 15, 1994

1936 - Bill to Legalize Euthanasia Defeated in British House of Lords

"The euthanasia debate was not limited to this side of the Atlantic. A bill to legalize euthanasia was debated in the British House of Lords in 1936, but was rejected... The defeat of this bill, along with the outbreak of World War II, the subsequent discovery of the Nazi death camps, and the recognition of the complicity of German physicians in the extermination camps quelled but did not eliminate discussion of the euthanasia question."

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Killing or Caring?, 1998

1937 - Voluntary Euthanasia Act Introduced in US Senate

Nebraska Senator John Comstock introduces legislation called the Voluntary Euthanasia Act, which calls for the legalization of active euthanasia. It is never voted on but demonstrates an emerging interest in legislating euthanasia.

"The Moral and Legal Status of Physician-Assisted Death: Quality Of Life and the Patient-Physician Relationship," Issues in Integrative Studies

1938 - National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia Founded

On January 16th, 1938 Charles Francis Potter announces the founding of the National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia (NSLE), which is soon renamed the Euthanasia Society of America (ESA). According to TIME magazine, "he and a sizable group of other notable men believe[d] so strongly in the right of an incurably diseased individual to have his life terminated gently that they... organized a National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia... its trustees included Dr. Clarence Cook Little of the American Society for the Control of Cancer and of the American Birth Control League, and Secretary Leon Fradley Whitney of the American Eugenics Society."

"Potter and Euthanasia,", Jan. 31, 1938

1940s - Nazi Use of Involuntary Euthanasia Changes Public Perception of Euthanasia in the US

"When the 1940s dawned, many in the euthanasia movement believed it was only a matter of time before euthanasia became legal in the United States... But euthanasia advocates were in for a surprise... World War II broke out, and as Hitler's war machine Marched eastward across of Nazi atrocities against mental patients and handicapped children filtered back to America... As word spread in the late 1940s, the euthanasia movement found itself increasingly on the defensive, scrambling to deny that the form of euthanasia it supported was the same as Nazi murder."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1946 - Committee of 1776 Physicians for Legalizing Voluntary Euthanasia Founded

The Committee of 1776 Physicians for Legalizing Voluntary Euthanasia in New York State comes into existence.

"The Moral and Legal Status of Physician-Assisted Death: Quality Of Life and the Patient-Physician Relationship," Issues in Integrative Studies, 2000


1950 - World Medical Association Condemns Euthanasia; Poll Shows Declining Support for Physician-Assisted Suicide

The World Medical Association votes to recommend to all national medical associations that euthanasia be condemned "under any circumstances." In the same year, the American Medical Association issues a statement that the majority of doctors do not believe in euthanasia.

When an opinion poll in 1950 asked Americans whether they approved of allowing physicians by law to end incurably ill patients' lives by painless means if they and their families requested it, only 36 percent answered 'yes,' approximately 10 percent less than in the late 1930s."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1952 - Groups Petition the United Nations to Amend the Declaration of Human Rights to Include Euthanasia

The British and American Euthanasia Societies submit a petition to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to amend the UN Declaration of Human Rights to include "the right of incurable sufferers to euthanasia or merciful death... Inasmuch as this right is, then, not only consonant with the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration of Human Rights but essential to their realization, we hereby petition the United Nations to proclaim the right of incurable sufferers to euthanasia." Eleanor Roosevelt, the Chairperson of the Commission, did not present the petition to the Commission.

The Right to Die Debate: A Documentary History, 1999

1962 - Pauline Taylor Becomes President of the Euthanasia Society of America

Charles Potter dies and theologian Joseph Fletcher assumes Potter's unofficial title as the chief philosopher of the euthanasia movement. Fletcher fashions a new rationale for euthanasia based primarily on the notion of patient autonomy." Pauline Taylor becomes president of the Euthanasia Society of America (ESA). "Taylor...began the ESA's soul-searching process that led to a major shift in the philosophy for the entire American euthanasia movement. She believed the ESA in the past had overemphasized the soundness of an individual's decision to have his or her life ended if terminally ill and in unbearable pain... Taylor concluded that the time was ripe to...begin convincing the public that letting someone die, instead of resorting to extreme measures, was both humane and ethically permissible."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1965 - Donald McKinney Becomes President of the Euthanasia Society of America

Donald McKinney becomes president of the Euthanasia Society of America (ESA).

"Over the next two decades [McKinney] would help to transform the euthanasia movement by leading a sizeable faction opposed to active euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. In the process he eventually concluded...that there was a fundamental distinction between passive and active euthanasia."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1967 - First Living Will Written

The first living will is written by attorney Luis Kutner and his arguments for it appear in the Indiana Law Journal.

"Chronology of Euthanasia and Right-to-Die Events During the 20th Century and into the Millenium,", Feb. 27, 2005

1968 - Harvard Medical School Committee Defines Irreversible Coma as a Criterion for Death

The Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death publishes its report in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August 1968. The committee defines "irreversible coma" as a new criterion for death. According to the committee, a new definition of death was needed because of the great burden that trying to revive irreversibly comatose patients puts on the patients themselves, their families, hospitals and the community.

Rethinking Life & Death, 1994

1969 - Hastings Center Founded

The Hastings Center was founded in 1969 by Daniel Callahan to study ethical problems in medicine and biology and was instrumental in the development of bioethics as a discipline. The original focus of the center concerned death and dying, genetics, reproductive biology and population issues, and behavior control.

"The Hastings Center and the Early Years of Bioethics," Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Mar. 1999

1970s - Idea of Patients' Rights Gains Acceptance

In the early 1970s, the widely accepted authority of the medical profession came under concerted attack in the name of patient autonomy. This challenge has been embodied in the progressive enumeration of patient rights, especially the right to refuse medical care, even life-sustaining care. The goals have been to remove physicians from decision making and to let individual patients weigh the benefits and burdens of continued life.

"The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain," Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 15, 1994

1972 - US Senate Holds First National Hearings on Euthanasia

The US Senate Special Commission on Aging (SCA) holds the first national hearings on death with dignity entitled "Death with Dignity: An Inquiry into Related Public Issues.”

"The SCA hearings, chaired by Senator Frank Church, proved to be a superb opportunity for professionals and laypeople to discuss a range of issues relating to aging and terminal illness, including the evolving doctor-patient relationship and the difficulties about defining death itself. Overall, the hearings showed that Americans were becoming increasingly unhappy about 'the brutal irony of medical miracles,' which extended the dying process only to diminish patient dignity and quality of life. Church insisted that the hearings were not about euthanasia, but try as he might, he could not keep the subject from surfacing."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1973 - American Hospital Association (AHA) Adopts Patient's Bill of Rights

The American Hospital Association adopts a "Patient's Bill of Rights" which recognizes the right of patients to refuse treatment.

The Right to Die Debate: A Documentary History, 1999

1974 - Society for the Right to Die Founded

"The founding of the Society for the Right to Die [formerly the Euthanasia Society of America] marked a renewed dedication to pursuing the legalization of active euthanasia, a reenergized campaign to seek euthanasia laws through the political process."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

1974 - First US Hospice Opens

The first American hospice opens in New Haven, Connecticut.

"The Moral and Legal Status of Physician-Assisted Death: Quality Of Life and the Patient-Physician Relationship," Issues in Integrative Studies, 2003

Mar. 31, 1976 - Supreme Court Rules in Quinlan Case that Respirator Can Be Removed from Coma Patient

21-year-old Karen Ann Quinlan had fallen into an irreversible coma at a party in 1974. After doctors declared that she was in a "persistent vegetative state," her parents went to court to have her respirator removed. The New Jersey Supreme Court rules in 1976 that Karen Quinlan can be detached from her respirator. The case becomes a legal landmark, drawing national and international attention to end-of-life issues.

In Re Quinlan, 1976

Oct. 1, 1976 - Nation's First Aid in Dying Statute Signed into Law in CA

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signs the California Natural Death Act into law and California becomes the first state in the nation to grant terminally ill persons the right to authorize withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment when death is believed to be imminent.

"California Grants Terminally Ill Right to Put an End to Treatment," Oct. 2, 1976

1977 - Eight States Have Right to Die Bills

By 1977, eight states -- California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, North Carolina, and Texas -- had signed right-to-die bills into law.

Last Rights: The Struggle over the Right to Die, 2000


1980 - World Federation of Right to Die Societies Forms

The World Federation of Right to Die Societies was founded in 1980. Its membership included dozens of organizations from countries around the world that were concerned with euthanasia and the the right to die.

"Ensuring Choices for a Dignified Death, (accessed May 9, 2009)

1980 - Hemlock Society Forms

Derek Humphry forms the Hemlock Society, a grassroots euthanasia organization, in Los Angeles. "Humphry ranks as one of the preeminent pioneers of the American euthanasia movement... Hemlock enjoyed a remarkable growth in the 1980s that rivaled anything the other U.S. organizations had achieved... What also distinguished Hemlock from CFD [Concern for Dying] and the SRD [Society for the Right to Die] was its official support for active euthanasia and assisted suicide."

A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America, 2003

May 5, 1980 - Pope John Paul II Issues Declaration Opposing Mercy Killing

Pope John Paull II issues the Declaration on Euthanasia, opposing mercy killing but permitting increased use of painkillers and a patient's refusal of extraordinary means for sustaining life.

The Right to Die Debate: A Documentary History, 1999

Dec. 1984 - American Medical Association Supports Withholding or Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Medical Treatment in Certain Circumstances

The American Medical Association publishes two reports, "Withholding or Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Medical Treatment, and "Withholding or Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Medical Treatment -- Patients' Preferences." The reports detail the American Medical Association's formal position that with informed consent, a physician can withhold or withdraw treatment from a patient who is close to death, and may also discontinue life support of a patient in a permanent coma.

"Opinion 2.20: Withholding or Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment,", (accessed May 12, 2009)

1987 - California State Bar Becomes First Major Public Body to Support Physician Aid in Dying

The California State Bar Conference passes Resolution #3-4-87 to become the first major public body to approve of physician aid in dying.

"Chronology of Euthanasia and Right-to-Die Events During the 20th Century and into the Millenium,", Feb. 27, 2005

1988 - Unitarian Universalist Association Passes Resolution in Support of Aid in Dying

The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations passes a national resolution titled "The Right to Die With Dignity." The resolution favors aid in dying for the terminally ill, thus the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations becoms the first religious body to affirm a right to die.

"Chronology of Euthanasia and Right-to-Die Events During the 20th Century and into the Millenium,", Feb. 27, 2005

Jan. 8, 1988 - Journal of the American Medical Association Publishes Article by Hospital Worker Who Euthanized a Patient

The Journal of the American Medical Association publishes an anonymous article entitled "It's Over Debbie." The article describes how a gynecology resident in a large private hospital had injected a patient suffering from painful ovarian cancer with an overdose of morphine. The article stirs controversy and debate, and many condemn the resident for what he had done.

Arguing Euthanasia: The Controversy Over Mercy Killing, Assisted Suicide, and the "Right to Die," 1995

1990s - Public Opinion Surveys Show More Than Half of Americans Support Physician-Assisted Death

By the early 1990s, the growing interest in the right-to-die movement became apparent in public opinion surveys. These showed that more than half of the American public was now in favor of physician-assisted death and membership of the Hemlock Society rose dramatically to reach 50,000... With increased public interest, the stage was set for an explosive swell of activity: in the courts, in professional medical journals and institutions, and, most significantly, in the homes of the American people.

Last Rights: The Struggle over the Right to Die, 2000

June 4, 1990 - Jack Kevorkian Participates in His First Assisted Suicide

Jack Kevorkian, MD, assists Janet Adkins, a Hemlock Society member, in committing suicide in Michigan. Adkins' death is the first of many suicides in which Dr. Kevorkian assists.

The Slippery Slope From Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder, 1997

June 25, 1990 - Supreme Court Rules in Cruzan Case That a Person Has the Right to Refuse Life Saving Medical Service

Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health comes before the United States Supreme Court. The case receives national attention, as it is the first right-to-die case that the court has agreed to hear. In 1983, a car acccident had left Nancy Cruzan permanently unconscious (by most accounts). Her parents requested to withdraw her feeding tube, but the Missouri Supreme Court refused. The United States Supreme Court ruled that a competent person has a constitutionally protected right to refuse any medical treatment, but upholds Missouri's right to insist on clear and convincing evidence as to the wishes of patients who do not have decision-making capacity. In light of the ruling, the Cruzans' lawyer goes back to court with new evidence as to Nancy's prior wishes, and Nancy's feeding tube is removed. She dies on December 26th, 1990.

The Slippery Slope From Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder, 1997

Nov. 5, 1990 - US Congress Passes Patient Self-Determination Act

Congress passes the Patient Self-Determination Act, requiring hospitals that receive federal funds to tell patients that they have a right to demand or refuse treatment. It takes effect the next year.

Patient Self-Determination Act, Nov. 5, 1990

1991 - Choice in Dying Formed

Choice in Dying is formed by the merger of two aid in dying organizations, Concern for Dying and Society for the Right to Die. The new organization becomes known for defending patients' rights and promoting living wills, and grows in five years to 150,000 members.

"Chronology of Euthanasia and Right-to-Die Events During the 20th Century and into the Millenium,", Feb. 27, 2

Nov. 1991 - Washington Voters Defeat Physician-Aid-in-Dying Initiative

Washington State introduces ballot Initiative 119 to legalize "physician-aid-in-dying." The initiative is defeated.

John Dombrink and Daniel Hillyard, Dying Right: The Death with Dignity Movement, 2001

Nov. 3, 1992 - California Death with Dignity Act Is Defeated

California voters defeat Proposition 161, the California Death with Dignity Act, which would have allowed physicians to hasten death by actively administering or prescribing medications for self administration by suffering, terminally ill patients. The vote is 54-46 percent.

Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder, 1990

Apr. 1993 - Compassion in Dying Formed

Compassion in Dying is founded in Washington state to counsel the terminally ill and provide information about how to die without suffering and 'with personal assistance, if necessary, to intentionally hasten death.' The group sponsors suits challenging state laws against assisted suicide.

"Aid-In-Dying Timeline," (accessed May 12, 2009)

May 1994 - New York Task Force Publishes Report Against Physician-Assisted Suicide

The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law publishes When Death Is Sought, a report that argues against the legalization of physician-assisted suicide.

New York State Task Force on Life and the Law , When Death Is Sought: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Medical Context, May 1994

Nov. 1994 - Oregon Death with Dignity Act Passed

The Oregon Death With Dignity Act is passed, becoming the first law in American history permitting physician-assisted suicide.

Oregon Death with Dignity Act, 1994

Apr. 30, 1997 - President Clinton Prohibits Using Federal Funds for Assisted Suicide

President Clinton signs the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997, which prohibits the use of federal funds to cause a patient's death.

Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997, 1997

June 26, 1997 - US Supreme Court Rules There Is No Right to Die

The Supreme Court rules in Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill that there is not a constitutional right to die.

Washington v. Glucksberg , 1997

Vacco v. Quill , 1997

Nov. 1997 - Oregon Voters Keep Death with Dignity Act

Oregonians vote 60 to 40 percent in favor of keeping the Death with Dignity Act.

"Death With Dignity Act History,", Mar. 2006

Nov. 1998 - Jack Kevorkian Assists a Suicide on National Television

Jack Kevorkian, MD, is a guest on 60 Minutes, during which he shows a videotape of him administering a lethal injection to Thomas Youk, a man suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.

People v. Kevorkian, 2001

Nov. 1998 - Michigan Defeats Physician-Assisted Suicide Proposal

Michigan introduces Proposal B to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The proposal fails by a vote of 29% to 71%.

John Dombrink and Daniel Hillyard, Dying Right: The Death with Dignity Movement, 2001

1999 - Jack Kevorkian Convicted of Murder

A Michigan court convicts Jack Kevorkian, MD, for the murder of Thomas Youk and sentences him to 10-25 years in prison.

People v. Kevorkian, 2001


2000 - Maine Death with Dignity Act Is Defeated

Maine introduces a ballot initiative, the Maine Death with Dignity Act, that reads "Should a terminally ill adult, who is of sound mind, be allowed to ask for and receive a doctor's help to die?" The initiative is defeated by a margin of 51% to 49%.

John Dombrink and Daniel Hillyard, Dying Right: The Death with Dignity Movement, 2001

2001 - Netherlands Legalizes Euthanasia

The Netherlands officially legalizes euthanasia.

"Frequently Asked Questions,", 2006

2003 - Attorney-General Aschroft Challenges the Oregon Death with Dignity Act

US Attorney-General John Ashcroft asks the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the finding of a lower court judge that the Oregon Death With Dignity Act of 1994 does not contravene federal powers.

"Chronology of Euthanasia and Right-to-Die Events During the 20th Century and into the Millenium,", Feb. 27, 2005

2005 - Terri Schiavo Has Her Feeding Tube Removed after Long Court Battle

The Terri Schiavo case garners national media attention. Terri Schiavo had been brain damaged since 1990 when, aged 26, her heart stopped beating temporarily and oxygen was cut off to her brain. In 1998, her husband Michael Schiavo filed a petition to have her feeding tube removed. Seven years of legal battles ensued between Michael Schiavo and Terri's parents, the Schindlers. After a Florida Circuit Judge ruled that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube be removed and the Florida Supreme Court overturned "Terri's Law," a law intended to reinsert the feeding tube, the United States Supreme Court refuses for the sixth time to intervene in the case. Terri Schiavo dies on Mar. 31, 2005, 13 days after her feeding tube is removed.

"Timeline: Terri Schiavo Case," Mar. 31, 2005

Jan. 17, 2006 - US Supreme Court Upholds Oregon's Death with Dignity Act in Gonzales v. Oregon

The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 opinion in Gonzales v. Oregon, holds that the Controlled Substances Act does not authorize the Attorney General to ban the use of controlled substances for physician-assisted suicide. Oregon's Death with Dignity Law is upheld.

Gonzales v. Oregon, Jan. 17, 2006

June 1, 2007 - Jack Kevorkian Released on Parole

Jack Kevorkian, MD, the pathologist sentenced on Apr. 13, 1999 to 10-25 years in prison for his role in the euthanasia of Thomas Youk is paroled after serving 8 years.

"Kevorkian Is Released from Prison," June 1, 2007

Feb. 19, 2008 - Luxembourg Legalizes Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

The Luxembourg parliament adopts a law legalizing physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

"Luxembourg Parliament Adopts Euthanasia Law,", Feb. 20, 2008

Nov. 4, 2008 - Washington Death with Dignity Act Is Passed

Washington voters approve the Washington Death with Dignity Act (Initiative 1000) making Washington the second US state to legalize physician-assisted suicide.

Washington Death with Dignity Act, Nov. 4, 2008

Dec. 5, 2008 - State of Montana Legalizes Physician-Assisted Suicide

Montana district judge Dorothy McCarter rules in the case of Baxter v. State of Montana that Montana residents have the legal right to physician assisted suicide, thus making it the third US state to legalize physician aid in dying. Baxter v. State of Montana, Dec. 5, 2008

Dec. 31, 2009 - State of Montana Affirms Physician-Assisted Suicide Not Against Public Policy

The Montana Supreme Court affirmed 4-3 in the case of Baxter v. State of Montana that physician-assisted suicide is not "against public policy" in Montana. The Court further ruled that state law protects doctors in Montana from prosecution for helping terminally ill patients die. The court declined to rule on the larger question of whether physician-assisted suicide is a right guaranteed under Montana's Constitution.

Dec. 31, 2009 Montana Supreme Court Decision on Baxter v. State of Montana

June 3, 2011 - Jack Kevorkian Dead at 83

"Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the medical pathologist who willfully helped dozens of terminally ill people end their lives, becoming the central figure in a national drama surrounding assisted suicide, died on Friday [June 3, 2011] in Royal Oak., Mich. He was 83. He died at William Beaumont Hospital, where he had been admitted recently with kidney and respiratory problems, said Geoffrey N. Fieger, the lawyer who represented Dr. Kevorkian in several of his trials in the 1990s. Mayer Morganroth, a friend and lawyer, told The Associated Press that the official cause of death would most likely be pulmonary thrombosis, a blood clot."

"Dr. Jack Kevorkian Dies at 83; A Doctor Who Helped End Lives,", June 3, 2011

Nov. 6, 2012 - Massachusetts Death with Dignity Ballot Measure Defeated

Massachusetts voters rejected the Death with Dignity ballot measure by less than 60,000 votes. The measure would have legalized physician-assisted suicide by allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dosage of medicine to people with less than six months to live.

"Election 2012: How Pot, Porn and Punishment Initiatives Fared with Voters,", Nov. 7, 2012

May 20, 2013 - Vermont Becomes Fourth State to Allow Physician-Assisted Suicide

Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin signed the "End of Life Choices” bill into law, which is the first time physician-assisted suicide has been made legal in the United States via the legislative process. Like the laws in Oregon and Washington, Vermont’s law implements safeguards to govern physicians who are now allowed to prescribe death-inducing medication to terminally ill residents of the state. However, those safeguards expire on July 1, 2016 at which point physician-assisted suicide will be overseen by professional practice standards already in place to govern physician conduct.

"Vermont Passes Law Allowing Doctor-Assisted Suicide,”, May 20, 2013

Jan. 13, 2014 - Physician-Assisted Suicide Ruled Legal by New Mexico Judge

A ruling by Second Judicial Judge Nan G. Nash prohibits the prosecution of physicians who help competent terminally ill patients end their lives. The decision stated, "This court cannot envision a right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican than the right of a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying." The ruling further stated " NMSA 1978 § 30-2-4 ["Assisted Suicide Statute"] therefore violates our State constitution when applied to aid in dying." New Mexico Attorney General Gary King filed an appeal of the ruling on Mar. 13, 2014, stating, "We feel, win or lose, we need some decision by the [state] Supreme Court, or at least the appeals court, that will apply across the state… Our position is we’re defending the integrity of the statute."

"New Mexico Judge Affirms Right to 'Aid in Dying,'", Jan. 13, 2014

Attorney General Appeals Ruling on Assisted Suicide,”, Mar. 13, 2014

Mar. 2, 2014 - Belgium Legalizes Euthanasia for Terminally and Incurably Ill Children

On Mar. 2, 2014, Belgium became the world’s first country to lift all age restrictions on euthanasia. King Philippe of Belgium signed legislation that allows children with terminal and incurable illnesses to choose to be euthanized. The child must be "near death, in 'constant and unbearable physical' pain with no available treatment." The child must also have "capacity of discernment and be conscious at the moment of the request." The request has to be made in writing, confirmed and agreed upon by the treating physician, confirmed by a second opinion from an outside doctor, and then the child must undergo psychological testing to confirm that the child understands the request fully and that test has to be certified in writing by the psychiatrist. The treating physician is then required to meet with the child’s parents or legal representative to obtain their consent in writing. The Netherlands has similar legislation but prohibits euthanasia for children under 12 years of age.

“Will Belgium’s Legalized Child Euthanasia Trigger Death Tourism?,”, Mar. 6, 2014

Feb. 6, 2015 - Canada’s High Court Strikes Down Physician-Assisted Suicide Ban

"In a unanimous ruling, Canada's Supreme Court struck down the country's law that bans doctor-assisted suicide Friday. The court said the law denies people the right 'to make decisions concerning their bodily integrity and medical care' and leaves them 'to endure intolerable suffering.' …In its analysis, the court wrote, 'the prohibition deprives some individuals of life, as it has the effect of forcing some individuals to take their own lives prematurely, for fear that they would be incapable of doing so when they reached the point where suffering was intolerable.' The court suspended its ruling from taking effect for 12 months, to give the government time to amend its laws."

“Canadians Have a Right to Assisted Suicide, High Court Says,”, Feb. 6, 2015

Apr. 30, 2015 - South African Court Allows Assisted Suicide for Terminally Ill Man

Robin Stransham-Ford, a 65-year-old man diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2013, was granted the right to have a doctor help him end his life by the High Court in Pretoria. Dignity South Africa, the group that helped bring the case to court, noted that Mr. Stransham "died peacefully of natural causes" the same day the ruling was given. State prosecutors had planned to appeal the ruling before learning of his death. Assisted suicide remains illegal in South Africa, but Dignity South Africa hoped the ruling would "set in motion the process of legalising assisted dying in South Africa." The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa stated that the ruling was "precedent-setting" and could have "far-reaching implications."

Yahoo! Inc. "S. African Man Dies Naturally on Same Day as Winning Right to Die,", Apr. 30, 2015

BBC "South African Court Grants Man 'Right to Die,'", Apr. 30, 2015

Aug. 11, 2015 - New Mexico Court Ruling Allowing Physician-Assisted Suicide Struck Down by Higher Court

The New Mexico Court of Appeals struck down a Jan. 13, 2014 lower-court ruling legalizing physician-assisted suicide in a 2-1 ruling.

"'We conclude that aid in dying is not a fundamental liberty interest under the New Mexico Constitution,' said Judge Timothy L. Garcia in the majority opinion."

"New Mexico Court Strikes down Ruling That Allowed Assisted Suicide,", Aug. 11, 2015

Oct. 5, 2015 - California Becomes Fifth State to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

"Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, on Monday signed a measure allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. California becomes the fifth state to allow so-called physician-assisted suicide, following Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont. The new law is modeled after Oregon's. It permits physicians to provide lethal prescriptions to mentally competent adults who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and face the expectation that they will die within six months. The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns its special session on healthcare, which may not be until next year. The earliest likely adjournment would be in January."

"Gov. Brown Signs Controversial Assisted-Suicide Bill,", Oct. 5, 2015

June 7, 2016 - Physician-Assisted Suicide Becomes Legal in Canada

"Last year the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Criminal Code provisions forbidding physician-assisted suicide and gave Parliament a year to rewrite the law. The government of former prime minister Stephen Harper did not draft a new law before its defeat in last October's election. With the court's original February deadline looming, Trudeau's government asked for a six-month extension. The court consented to only four more months. That deadline passed on Monday [June 6, 2016]. Physician-assisted suicide can now be performed legally starting Tuesday [June 7, 2016], with no restrictions under the Criminal Code. The House of Commons passed the new Liberal law, C-14, last week. The Senate has only begun deliberating. Bill C-14 permits physician-assisted suicide only in cases where the patient's death is 'reasonably foreseeable.' That's different from the Court's phrasing: it held unanimously that a patient suffering a 'grievous and irremediable medical condition' could seek a physician's help to end 'suffering that is intolerable.'"

"'This Is a Big Step in Canadian Society and Justice,' Trudeau Says of Assisted Dying Bill: Paul Wells,", June 7, 20

Sep. 17, 2016 - First Belgian Minor Granted Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide

"A 17-year-old has committed doctor-assisted suicide in Belgium, the first minor to do so under rules adopted in 2014 allowing euthanasia for people of all ages, the head of the national committee for euthanasia said on Saturday. Wim Distelmans, who chairs Belgium's Federal Control and Evaluation Committee on Euthanasia, told Reuters that the minor was 17 and that a local doctor had reported the case to his committee last week, but he gave no other details. Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002, and two years ago amended the rules to permit doctor-assisted death for minors in a hopeless medical situation and with their explicit consent. It is the only country in the world that allows euthanasia for minors of all ages. In the neighboring Netherlands the practice is legal for children aged 12 or over... Euthanasia laws vary by country. Laws in Belgium, the Netherlands, Colombia and Luxemburg [sic] allow mercy deaths for adults, which usually means a doctor administering lethal doses of barbiturates."

"17-Year-Old Is First Minor to Be Granted Euthanasia in Belgium,", Sep. 17, 2016

Nov. 8, 2016 - Colorado Legalizes Physician-Assisted Suicide

"CO-106 made assisted death legal 'among patients with a terminal illness who receive a prognosis of death within six months.'

Colorado is only the sixth state to approve some form of physician-assisted death. Its bill was modeled after Oregon's law, Colorado Public Radio reports. The law requires patients to self-administer a doctor-prescribed drug."

"4 States Opt To Raise Minimum Wage; 7 Loosen Marijuana Laws,", Nov. 9, 2016

Feb. 18, 2017 - DC Becomes Seventh Jurisdiction in United States to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

"The District of Columbia's Death with Dignity Act takes effect Saturday as Republicans opponents on Capitol Hill were unable to block the new law. Although the new D.C. law was submitted to the House and Senate on January 6 for a 30-legislative-day review period under the Home Rule Act, House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz could not convince his Senate counterpart, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, to take up the issue... D.C. is now the seventh jurisdiction in the country to legalize medically assisted suicide. Congress can still vote to overturn the law or attempt to defund it, however, in the future, but doing so after it goes into effect is more difficult."

"DC's Assisted Suicide Law Goes into Effect over the Weekend,", Feb. 17, 2017

Nov. 29, 2017 - Victoria Becomes First Australian State to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide and Limited Euthanasia

"The Australian state of Victoria on Wednesday became the country's first to legalize assisted dying. After a two and a half years of debate and amendments, Victoria's Lower House ratified the euthanasia bill, handing a victory to the state government of Premier Daniel Andrews, who had lobbied heavily for the law. Starting in mid-2019, the law will allow Victorians with a terminal, incurable illness — and, in most cases, a life expectancy of less than six months — to obtain a lethal drug within 10 days of requesting it... Victoria's amendments to the law make it more restrictive than those passed elsewhere. For instance, it allows a drug to be administered on behalf of a patient only if the patient is unable to administer it. Additionally, a patient needs to have been a resident of Victoria for at least one year to be eligible."

"Australian State Passes Assisted Dying Law,", Nov. 29, 2017

Dec. 2, 2017 - Nine State Medical Associations Drop Opposition to Physician-Assisted Suicide

"Two state medical societies have dropped their opposition to medical aid-in-dying, a position that mirrors growing acceptance of the practice among many doctors. The Massachusetts Medical Society on Saturday [Dec. 2, 2017] became the 10th chapter of the American Medical Association to depart from the profession's long-standing opposition to physician-assisted dying... The Vermont Medical Society also recently [on Nov. 4, 2017] joined the list of medical associations that have voted to take a neutral stance on physician-assisted death. Massachusetts and Vermont joined medical societies in California, Colorado, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and the District of Columbia in dropping opposition to what was once called physician-assisted suicide."

"Two State Medical Societies Drop Opposition to Medical Aid-In-Dying,", Dec. 5, 2017

Apr. 5, 2018 - Hawaii Legalizes Physician-Assisted Suicide

"Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed legislation on Thursday [Apr. 5, 2018] to make the island state the eighth U.S. jurisdiction where physician-assisted suicide is legal... The Hawaii legislation is modeled after the law in Oregon. It allows doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients who are mentally competent and have a prognosis of six months or less to live. Two doctors must confirm the terminal diagnosis. The patient must make two separate requests for life-ending drugs, with a 20-day waiting period between the first and second request."

"Hawaii Becomes Eighth Jurisdiction Where Assisted Suicide Is Legal,", Apr. 6, 2018

Apr 12, 2019 - New Jersey Legalizes Physician-Assisted Suicide

"Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act on Friday [Apr. 12, 2019], which will allow 'New Jersey adults to end their lives peacefully, with dignity, and at their own discretion,' according to a press release from the governor's office. The law will go into effect on Aug. 1. The law will permit terminally ill adult patients living in New Jersey the right to obtain and self-administer medication to end their lives, according to the release. In order for the patient to get the medication, doctors must determine that he or she has a life expectancy of six months or less, has the capacity to make health care decisions, and is acting voluntarily... One in five Americans now live in locations where the option is available, according to Death With Dignity, an organization that promotes laws that allow dying individuals to end their own lives."

Julia Jacobo, "New Jersey Governor Signs Law Allowing Terminally Ill Patients to End Their Lives,", Apr. 14, 2019

June 12, 2019 - Maine Legalizes Physician-Assisted Suicide

"Maine legalized medically assisted suicide on Wednesday [June 12, 2019], becoming the eighth state to allow terminally ill people to end their lives with prescribed medication. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who had previously said she was unsure about the bill, signed it in her office... Maine's bill would allow doctors to prescribe terminally ill people a fatal dose of medication. The bill declares that obtaining or administering life-ending medication is not suicide under state law, thereby legalizing the practice often called medically assisted suicide."

Marina Villeneuve, "Maine Becomes 8th State to Legalize Assisted Suicide,", June 12, 2019

July 24, 2019 - Oregon Removes Waiting Period for Patients with Fewer Than 15 Days to Live

"Legislation allowing certain terminally ill patients to have quicker access to life-ending medications under the state’s first-in-the-nation assisted suicide law has been signed into law, Gov. Kate Brown’s office announced Wednesday [July 24, 2019]. The law allows those with 15 days left to live to bypass a 15-day waiting period required under the Death with Dignity Act, something proponents say will reduce bureaucracy and bring relief to gravely ill people. Some opponents argued that the move amounted to an unnecessary expansion of the state’s physician-assisted suicide law, saying the law removes critical safeguards meant to ensure people are confident in their decision to end their own life. Those seeking life-ending medications had to make a verbal request for physician-assisted suicide, wait 15 days and then make a written request. They then had to wait an additional 48 hours before obtaining the prescription. Under the new amendment, doctors can make exceptions to the waiting periods if the patient is likely to die before completing them."

Sarah Zimmerman, "Oregon Removes Assisted Suicide Wait for Certain Patients,, July 24, 2019

Feb. 26, 2020 - Germany Overturns Ban on Organized Assisted Suicide

"Germany’s highest court on Wednesday overturned a ban on organized medically assisted suicide, allowing terminally and gravely ill patients to seek help ending their lives without leaving the country. The ruling came after a long-running discussion about the role of doctors and caregivers in end-of-life decisions, one that has special resonance in a country where Nazi doctors euthanized hundreds of thousands during World War II... The case centered on wording in the law that forbade professionally assisted suicide and made it punishable by a fine or up to three years in jail. The law allowed assisted suicides for 'altruistic motives' but forbade people from offering it to someone else 'on business terms'... With the ruling on Wednesday, Germany will once more allow people to help those too ill to end their lives, even if they do so in an organized fashion, as medical practitioners and end-of-life volunteer associations aim to do."

Christopher F. Schuetze, "German Court Overturns Ban on Assisted Suicide,", Feb. 26, 2020

Oct. 16, 2020 - Netherlands to Allow Physician-Assisted Suicide for Terminally Ill Children under 12

The Dutch Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, announced plans to extend legal physician-assisted to terminally ill children between the ages of one and 12 years old. The country currently allows physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill children over 12 and adults, and allows physician-assisted suicide for children younger than one with parents' consent.

The law is expected to be finalized within months of the announcement.

Maria Cramer and Claire Moses, "Netherlands to Allow Doctors to Help End Lives of Terminally Ill Children,", Oct. 16, 2020

Oct. 17, 2020 - New Zealand Votes to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide for Terminally Ill Adults

According to preliminary results, more than 65% of New Zealanders voted in favor of legalizing physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill adults. Official results will be announced on Nov. 6, 2020 and the law will take effect in Nov. 2021.

The law will only apply to citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand over the age of 18 who are terminally ill with 6 months to live. The person must be in an "advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability" with "unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person considers tolerable." The patient must also be able to make an informed decision about assisted death.

Preeti Jha, "New Zealand Euthanasia: Assisted Dying to Be Legal for Terminally Ill People,", Oct. 30, 2020

Jan. 7, 2021 - First People with Non-Terminal Illness Undergo Euthanasia in Colombia

Colombia legalized euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses in 1997. In 2021, the Colombian court recognized that the procedure should not be only available to those with terminal illnesses and, on Jan. 7, 2022, Victor Escobar, who had a degenerative disorder (end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), was the first person with a non-terminal illness to die via legally regulated euthanasia in Colombia.

The next day, Martha Sepulveda, who suffered with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, was the second person with a non-terminal illness to die via legally regulated euthanasia in Colombia.

DescLAB, a legal rights advocacy group, stated 178 people with terminal illnesses had been legally euthanized between 1997 and Oct. 15, 2020 in Colombia.

Reuters, "Man Becomes First Person in Colombia with Non-Terminal Illness to Die by Legal Euthanasia,", Jan. 9, 2022

Mar. 29, 2022 - Oregon Ends Residency Requirement for Physician-Assisted Suicide

Terminally ill people will no longer be subject to a residency requirement to seek physician-assisted suicide in Oregon.

Compassion & Choices, a national advocacy group, sued Oregon. Kevin Diaz, an attorney with the group, stated, "This requirement was both discriminatory and profoundly unfair to dying patients at the most critical time of their life.” The group plans to pressure the eight other states and DC with aid-in-dying programs to lift their residency requirements.

The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Medical Board settled in the U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday, agreeing to stop enforcing the residency requirement and to ask the legislature to edit the law.

Gene Johnson, “Oregon Ends Residency Rule for Medically Assisted Suicide,”, Mar, 29, 2022

May 2, 2023 - Vermont Ends Residency Requirement for MAID

Vermont eliminated the residency requirement for medical aid in dying on May 2, 2023 after Lynda Bluestein from Connecticut sued the state. A settlement was reached in her lawsuit, allowing Bluestein to access MAID in Vermont, which also prompted lawmakers to make the change permanent. <br>
Vermont is the first state to remove a residency requirement from a MAID law. Oregon has stopped enforcing the state's residency requirement, but the change has not been made permanent via legislation.

Mikaela Lefrak, "Vermont Becomes First State to Waive Residency Requirement for Medical Aid in Dying,", May 2, 2023

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