A new Vermont law allows terminally ill patients to get approval to end their lives via Zoom, Skype or other telemedicine platforms, according to The National Review. Previously, Vermont law had required doctors to examine their patients in person before prescribing a lethal dose of medication, but that’s now optional. Assisted suicide, as some describe the practice, has been legal in Vermont since 2013.
Supporters have said the practice gives patients control to choose their fate.
“These people who have cancer, who have brain tumors want to live – they don’t want to die, but they don’t want to be in pain at the end,” New York Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D) said. Paulin sponsored a similar bill in New York to allow what’s become known as ‘aid in dying’ after her sister’s battle with stage four ovarian cancer.
Opponents have said that some healthcare services shouldn’t be allowed through virtual channels because a patient should be in front of a care provider, in the same room, to talk through what may be a difficult decision.
“It’ll corrupt the practice of medicine, it’ll compromise the doctor-patient relationship,” said Dr. Ryan Anderson, author of the first comprehensive report on physician-assisted suicide for The Heritage Foundation.