Want to move to Maine for access?

There is no time requirement to become a legal resident of Maine.

You can move to Maine for any reason, including a desire to access medical aid in dying at the end of your life.

Moving to a new state is challenging under any circumstances. It’s particularly challenging when you have a terminal illness.

If you are early in your terminal diagnosis, if you are relatively mobile, if you have the ability to do research, and make the arrangements, then it is more likely that you will be able to access this care. Most people will find that having a group of supportive friends and family to assist them with tasks will be very valuable and even necessary.

Section 15 of the Maine Death with Dignity Act addresses the many ways a Maine physician may determine your residency status.

You must establish medical care in Maine.

We recommend discussing your end-of-life care and plans with your existing medical team, including your primary care doctor, any relevant specialists and a palliative care physician.  We suggest you also include the people who are close to you in these discussions.  If you are already on hospice, include your hospice provider.  Make sure you understand all of your options for comfort care and treatment.

Evaluate whether you meet the requirements of Maine’s Death with Dignity Act:

    • Have a terminal illness and six-month prognosis
    • Be capable of making your own healthcare decisions
    • Be making an informed decision, and
    • Be capable of self-administering the medication

You will not be able to remain in your current state and you  will not be able to take the medication back to your home state.

​Think carefully about whether you can travel and arrange everything required for you to be in the State of Maine for the duration of requesting, qualifying, and using medical aid in dying.

You must establish a relationship with a Maine-licensed physician who is practicing in Maine and who is able and willing to prescribe end-of-life medications after you meet all of the requirements.

Finding a Maine physician:  The best way to connect with a Maine doctor is by referral from your existing physician(s). Ask your doctor to approach your request like any other medical referral. If your doctor doesn’t have specific contacts in Maine, they should contact their equivalent department (oncology, neurology, etc.) at a medical facility in Maine. If any doctors on your team need additional guidance, they can contact us for more information.

Cost of moving:  It is not possible to quantify the costs of moving and accessing medical aid in dying in Maine. While is it possible that doctor consultations and hospice may be covered by your private insurance, the medication, travel, accommodations, and other costs likely will not be. Medicare will not cover any costs affiliated with medical aid in dying. If you have private insurance, contact your company to verify what, if anything, may be covered.

As you can see, considering a move to Maine is a big decision with lots to think about. The support of family and/or friends will be absolutely necessary for a successful move.

Maine Death with Dignity does not maintain a list of practicing Maine physicians. 

Maine Death with Dignity cannot assist with any aspect of your move or accessing healthcare in Maine, but you are welcome to contact us with any questions you have about access, ways to find a physician, or details about the Maine Death with Dignity Act.