Yesterday, Oregon’s Legislature passed a law (HB2279) officially eliminating the residency requirement from their Death with Dignity law. Although some counties in Oregon were already allowing non-resident patients to participate in medical aid in dying (MAID), the new law allows for MAID across the whole state. 

The bill stems from a lawsuit brought by an Oregon doctor challenging the constitutionality of the residency rules. 

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum had agreed to settle the case, stating that the state had no defense to keep residency rules in place, and that legislation was needed. As part of the settlement agreement, medical aid in dying is currently allowed in three Oregon counties until the new state law removing the residency requirement is enacted upon signature by Oregon Governor Tina Kotek.

Death with Dignity’s Campaign Strategist, Geoff Sugerman, helped lead the effort to pass the law along with Compassion and Choices. 

“As we continue working to pass laws to establish the Death with Dignity in states like Massachusetts and Nevada, we’re also working hard to remove barriers that prevent patients from accessing this end-of-life option. So as residency requirements are removed and waiting periods are reduced, we’re helping make life a little easier for patients who choose medical aid in dying,” said Sugerman. “We know how challenging it is for dying patients to uproot themselves and their families to travel to another state. But for some patients, this will be the option they choose.”