Vermont has legalized assisted suicide through telemedicine carried out by video chat.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed the legislation passed this week by the Democrat-run Legislature, thus removing a prior requirement for a physician to examine a terminally ill patient in person prior to prescribing medication aiding a patient’s suicide.
Under the law, a requesting patient must have a “terminal condition” and be informed about hospice care options.
The legislation also bars civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action against any health care professional who acts in good faith compliance with the law.
Vermont first legalized physician-assisted suicide in 2013, requiring multiple evaluations before a physician approved the request to dispense fatal medication for self-administration. Critics of the bills raised concerns assisted suicide can now be achieved without a face-to-face interaction with doctors.