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SALEM, Oregon (LifeSiteNews) – The state of Oregon just dropped its residency requirement for assisted suicide, allowing non-Oregonians to come to the Beaver State to end their lives.

On March 28, the state agreed to stop enforcing its current residency requirement after a federal lawsuit was filed. The Oregon Health Authority has also declared it will draft a bill to repeal the requirement altogether.

The lawsuit was filed by Compassion & Choices, an assisted suicide lobby group. The group represented Nicholas Gideonse, a doctor in Oregon who wished to prescribe lethal drugs for people in neighboring Washington state.

The lawsuit argued that the residency requirement violated a clause of Oregon’s constitution which states, “the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.”

Oregon Right to Life sharply criticized the agreement as an attempt to bypass court adjudication of the constitutionality of the current laws. They said it would usher in “death tourism” in Oregon.

“We already have a problem with dangerously short physician-patient relationships and the push to eliminate any waiting period for life-ending drugs. We should not be expanding access to lethal prescriptions,” said Oregon Right to Life Executive Director Lois Anderson.

Oregon was the first state to allow assisted suicide in 1997. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in 2006. According to the 2021 data summary of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, to date 3,280 people have received lethal prescriptions under the law, of which two-thirds – 2,159 people – died from the medications. Ten other U.S. states or jurisdictions currently allow assisted suicide, all of which have residency requirements.

Pro-lifers maintain that suffering cannot be treated by killing the sufferer, and have long warned that legalized assisted suicide can easily be abused.

“Depression is the most common factor in requests for assisted suicide,” notes the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. “Depression can be diagnosed and treated successfully. Requests for assisted suicide [are] a call for help.”

In the 1995 Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II emphasized the need to legally protect human life in its final stages. Citing the Declaration on Euthanasia, Iura et Bona, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he summarized the pro-life position, “‘Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action.’”