The complexities of medical aid in dying in Vermont
If you live in Vermont, and you have a terminal illness, where and when you die could be up to you. Charlie Bestard of Hartland asked Brave Little State about the state’s medical aid in dying law: How many Vermonters have used it, and how does the medical establishment view it?
Brave Little State is Vermont Public's listener-powered journalism show. We answer questions about Vermont that have been asked and voted on by you, our audience — because we think our journalism is better when you're a part of it.
“Medical aid in dying,” a process that's only legal in 10 states and Washington, D.C., was a controversial idea when it was first introduced in Vermont. For the most part, the debate has quieted down here since it became legal in 2013, with the passage of Act 39.
That silence is part of what prompted Charlie Bestard of Hartland to submit his question:
"How many Vermonters use this option each year? And how does the medical establishment view it?"
To answer Charlie's question, reporter Mikaela Lefrak explores how the process works in Vermont, and shares stories from the people who support Vermonters in their final days.
Note: Our show is produced for the ear. We recommend listening to the audio; for accessibility, click here to find a written episode transcript.
Mikaela Lefrak reported this episode. Josh Crane produced it and did the mix and sound design. Editing and additional help from the rest of the Brave Little State team: Angela Evancie, Myra Flynn and Mae Nagusky. Ty Gibbons composed our theme music; other music by Blue Dot Sessions.
Special thanks to Jaina Clough, Erica Heilman, Lynda Bluestein and Chelsea Chalfant.
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Brave Little State is a production of Vermont Public.