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Terminally ill Connecticut woman ends her life in Vermont

CBS NEWS – A Connecticut woman who pushed for expanded access to Vermont’s law that allows people who are terminally ill to receive lethal medication to end their lives died in Vermont on Thursday, an event her husband called “comfortable and peaceful,” just like she wanted.

Lynda Bluestein, who had terminal cancer, ended her life by taking prescribed medication.

Her last words were ‘I’m so happy I don’t have to do this (suffer) anymore,'” her husband Paul wrote in an email on Thursday to the group Compassion & Choices, which was shared with The Associated Press.

The organization filed a lawsuit against Vermont in 2022 on behalf of Bluestein, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Diana Barnard, a physician from Middlebury.

The suit claimed Vermont’s residency requirement in its so-called patient choice and control at end-of-life law violated the U.S. Constitution’s commerce, equal protection, and privileges and immunities clauses.

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The state agreed to a settlement last March that allowed Bluestein, who is not a Vermont resident, to use the law to die in Vermont.

And two months later, Vermont made such accommodations available to anyone in similar circumstances, becoming the first state in the country to change its law to allow terminally ill people from out of state to take advantage of it to end their lives.

Ten states allow medically assisted suicide but before Vermont changed its law only one state – Oregon – allowed non-residents to do it, by not enforcing the residency requirement as part of a court settlement.

Oregon went on to remove that requirement this past summer.

Vermont’s law, in effect since 2013, allows physicians to prescribe lethal medication to people with an incurable illness that is expected to kill them within six months …

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