History and Context:
In 2021, Compassion & Choices filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Dr. Nicholas Gideonse that challenged the constitutionality of the residency restriction contained in Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. On March 28, 2022, Dr. Gideonse and the State of Oregon defendants reached a settlement in the case. The settlement requires Oregon officials to 1) issue directives halting enforcement of the unconstitutional residency provision of the law, and 2) initiate a legislative request to permanently remove the residency language from the law.
HB 2279 would amend the Oregon law to remove the residency requirement. Medical aid in dying should be available to all qualified patients, regardless of their zip code. The process of establishing residency in a new state while terminally ill is an extremely burdensome and expensive process that no one should have to endure. The residency restriction is a barrier to accessing medical aid in dying for dying people who live in a jurisdiction where the practice is not yet authorized. Additionally, a significant number of terminally ill people residing in jurisdictions where medical aid in dying is authorized have also been adversely impacted by these restrictions, as many receive their regular medical care across state lines. Further, the residency restriction is out-of-step with all other medical care provided in the United States.