Oregon will now allow people from outside the state to receive an assisted suicide.
The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Medical Board agreed to stop enforcing the residency requirement in a settlement filed in the U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday, after the requirement was deemed unconstitutional.
Although advocates for the practice of assisted suicide hope this will set precedent for repealing residency requirements in other states, opponents say that Oregon will now become a place for “suicide tourism.”
Kevin Diaz, an attorney with Compassion & Choices, the group that sued over Oregon’s requirement, stated that “this requirement was both discriminatory and profoundly unfair to dying patients at the most critical time of their life.”
Approximately 2,159 have received an assisted suicide in Oregon since the state legalized it in 1997.
Laura Echevarria, a spokeswoman for National Right to Life, warned that scrapping the residency requirement could make Oregon the nation’s “assisted suicide tourism capital.” Diaz replied, however, that the safeguards in the law would make suicide tourism unlikely.
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