Oregon Agrees To Remove Assisted Suicide Safeguard

The state of Oregon has agreed to stop enforcing the in-state residency requirement set forth in its physician-assisted suicide law.

In 1997, Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Oregon’s assisted suicide law requires that persons receiving lethal drugs be Oregon residents. Compassion and Choices, a pro-assisted-suicide group, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the residency requirement as unconstitutional. Instead of fighting to uphold the residency requirement, the state of Oregon opted to settle the case. On March 28, 2022, a settlement agreement was filed in federal court; in that agreement, the state of Oregon reportedly asserted that it would no longer enforce the residency requirement and that it would ask the state legislature to repeal it.

From a pro-life perspective, there are two major objections to the Oregon settlement. First, the availability of lethal drugs could encourage terminally-ill persons from other states to come to Oregon to take their own lives. Second, according to MyTwinTiers.com, assisted suicide advocates intend to use the Oregon settlement to pressure the eight other states with assisted suicide laws into repealing their own residency requirements. The end result could be more assisted suicide.

At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we remain committed to stopping physician-assisted suicide from becoming legal in the state of New York. You can help by contacting legislators today.