Vermont physicians resist assisted suicide mandate

Two medical groups filed a lawsuit against two state medical agencies over an interpretation of a Vermont state law that allegedly requires physicians to help patients commit suicide, according the Washington Times.

South Burlington, Vt.-based Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and Christian Medical & Dental Associations in Bristol, Tenn., filed a lawsuit against two state medical agencies over their interpretation of Act 39, which was passed into law in Vermont in 2013.

According to the lawsuit, the agencies interpret Act 39 as a requirement for healthcare professionals to discuss the option of assisted suicide with patients if they ask about it. If physicians are not willing to counsel patients, they must refer them to a physician that will discuss the option, according to the Washington Times report.

Opponents of the law argue that the law violates the First Amendment and specific regulations in the Affordable Care Act.

However, proponents of the law suggest that the groups' concerns should instead be directed at the state's Patient Bill of Rights, which requires physicians to inform patients of all options available to them. Act 39 does not require physicians to counsel patients on assisted-suicide specifically.

More articles about legal and regulatory issues:
Fraud prevention efforts save $42B for Medicare, Medicaid over 2 years
New RI law requires health plans to cover telemedicine services
Federal mental health bill aims to refocus treatment efforts: 5 things to know

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars