Portland, Oregon, July 14, 2023 – Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has officially signed HB2279 into law, making Oregon the second state to remove residency requirements to access the state’s Death With Dignity law.
The legislation was spurred by a lawsuit challenging the residency requirement on constitutional grounds. In Oregon, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum settled the case, indicating the state had no legitimate grounds to defend the residency requirement.
Oregon joins Vermont as the second state to repeal the residency requirements. In Vermont, after a court ruled the requirement unconstitutional, the legislature passed a law removing the residency requirement.
Patients in both Oregon and Vermont must still meet all of the other safeguards in the law that require the patient to be terminally ill, within six months of death, acting voluntarily, able to make their own health care decisions and self-administer the medication.
“Removing this unconstitutional barrier to access for dying patients is a major step forward in assuring end-of-life options are available for the terminally ill. We appreciate the Legislature’s work in passing this bill to protect patient access and meet its constitutional obligations,” said Geoff Sugerman, Campaign Strategist for Death with Dignity. “And while we do not anticipate many patients will choose to relocate to use the law, it does provide additional choices for patients everywhere.”
Death with Dignity worked closely with the Oregon Health Authority, legislators including State Rep. Rob Nosse and State Sen. Floyd Prozanski, and Compassion and Choices in securing bipartisan passage of the bill.
Oregon was the first state in the nation to legalize physician-assisted dying through a ballot initiative in 1994. Voters reaffirmed the law overwhelmingly in 1997. Since then, Oregon has served as a model for other states considering similar legislation, demonstrating that compassionate end-of-life options can coexist with robust safeguards to protect vulnerable individuals.
Death with Dignity remains committed to advocating for expanded access to end-of-life options and will continue working towards ensuring that all Americans have the ability to die with dignity, compassion, and autonomy.
For media inquiries, please contact: