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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

Find a Facility that Honors Your Choices


Find a Facility that Honors Your Choices


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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/ August 23, 2017

Groups File Motion to Strike Agreement that May Limit Doctor-Patient Conversations about End-of-Life Care

Compassion & Choices and Patient Choices Vermont today filed a motion to strike from the court record the state’s Consent Agreement with physician plaintiffs in a dismissed federal lawsuit seeking to limit information provided to patients under Vermont law. The case sought to weaken the physicians’ duty to inform patients about all of their end-of-life care […]

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/ April 28, 2017

Dr. Thoman’s Blog: Respecting Physician and Patient Values at the End of Life`

Last month, a lawsuit addressing important questions about the intersection of patients’ legal rights and the religious freedom of physicians was heard by the U.S. District Court for the State of Vermont. The Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Christian Medical & Dental Association challenged the constitutionality of Vermont’s Patient Choice at the End […]

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/ March 29, 2017

In Memorium

Monique Van de Ven died peacefully in Vermont on January 27, 2016, at the age of 56 after taking a medical aid-in-dying prescription obtained through her doctor under the Vermont Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act (Act 39). In 2006 she was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare but aggressive head […]

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