Vermont Sees Assisted Suicides Quadruple Over Two Years

A report from the Vermont Department of Health revealed that the number of individuals who have died from assisted suicide has quadrupled in the last two years.

There were 85 death events between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2023.

Of those events, 72 individuals died from “patient choice,” 8 died from underlying disease, 3 individuals passed away from “unknown mechanisms,” and 1 individual passed from something “other.”

Sixty-two of the assisted suicide events were from those who had cancer.

A previous report from 2019 and 2021 found that there were only 17 assisted suicide events.

Associated Press reported in May that Vermont became the first state to allow ill individuals from out of state to use its assisted suicide program.

“We are grateful to Vermont lawmakers for recognizing that a state border shouldn’t determine if you die peacefully or in agony,” Kim Callinan, president and CEO of Compassion & Choices, said in a statement. “Patients routinely travel to other states to utilize the best healthcare options. There is no rational reason they shouldn’t be able to travel to another state to access medical aid in dying if the state they live in doesn’t offer it.”

Executive director of the Vermont Right to Life Committee Mary Hahn Beerworth said last year that the organization opposes the “underlying concept behind assisted suicide and opposes the move to remove the residency requirement as there are still no safeguards that protect vulnerable patients from coercion.”

Eleven states offer assisted suicide, including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.