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VT: A challenge to our state’s right-to-know law

The following message was sent to Vermont supporters this week:


Last week, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and others filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging Vermont’s Patient Choice and Control at End of Life law violates both federal and state law.

Even though the law does not require any doctor to participate in the aid-in-dying program, a small group of doctors is claiming that ensuring patients’ right to know about available healthcare infringes on the doctors’ rights.

In reality, the law is meant to empower and protect patients. In fact, it is the only way some terminally ill patients learn about all of their end-of-life options, including aid in dying, here in Vermont. These opposition doctors, with the help of out-of-state interest groups, filed this lawsuit to try to take that peace of mind away.

Compassion & Choices is monitoring the suit very closely and our legal team is considering taking action. We believe the law is on our side.

Soon, you’ll hear from Kevin Díaz, Compassion & Choices’ national director of legal advocacy, who will lay out the stakes of this case in more detail. But it’s safe to say that this legal challenge is a threat to our work and seeks to upend protections for patients. We’ll keep you informed as the case moves its way through the courts.

I’ll be sure to notify you of developments. Please know that we are doing everything we can to protect the law.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to send me an email at [email protected]compassionandchoices.org and I’ll do my best to get you an answer.

Talk to you soon,


Linda Waite-Simpson
VT State Director