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The Vermont Patient Choice and Control and the End of Life Act (Act 39) took effect on May 20, 2013, but our work to protect Vermont’s law is ongoing.

Compassion & Choices along with Patient Choices Vermont and two patients were granted intervenor status in a case challenging Vermont’s “right to know” law. Opponents brought suit in federal court against the state to challenge the requirement that physicians provide terminally ill patients with complete information about their end-of-life healthcare options. On April 6, a federal judge dismissed the claim, ruling that “physicians must inform patients about all choices and options relevant to their medical treatment.”

To learn more about the challenges to Vermont’s law and what we’re doing to defend it, watch this video

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Compassion & Choices funded the first training for doctors in Vermont during the summer and fall of 2013 with a statewide tour along with Vermont Ethics Network.

Compassion & Choices has staff on the ground to continue to help implement Vermont’s law.

2015 brought several changes to the law. None were successful thanks to advocacy by C&C. In May, 2015, Vermont Governor Shumlin signed the bill into law that preserves the process we now have in place and removed the sunset provision on the bill. Since that time, there have been no successful attempts to repeal or diminish access to the law.

In August of 2015, we launched the Vermont Access Campaign under the model provided by Matt Whitaker and are still seeing positive results with more and more physicians supporting their patients.

Compassion & Choices has staff on the ground to continue helping implement Vermont’s law.


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/ December 20, 2017

Patient Advocacy Group Applauds First Report Detailing Successful Implementation of Patient Choice at the End of Life Law

Compassion & Choices, a patient advocacy group, is heartened by the Vermont Department of Health’s first report on utilization of the 2013 Patient Choice at the End of Life Act since the law’s implementation four years ago. The report shows that the law is working as intended. In fact, since the law took effect, 52 […]

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/ December 20, 2017

Patient Advocacy Groups Welcome Federal Court Ruling Clarifying that Consent Agreement About Doctor-Patient Conversations “Does Not Represent” Court’s Views

Two patient advocacy groups today welcomed a federal judge’s  ruling that the Vermont Attorney General’s consent agreement with physician plaintiffs “does not represent” the court’s views in a dismissed lawsuit that sought to weaken the doctors’ duty to inform patients about all of their end-of-life care options. The two organizations, Compassion & Choices and Patient […]

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