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Poll Shows Voter Support for NY Aid-in-Dying Act

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Friday, October 15, 2021   

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new survey shows most New Yorkers approve of medical aid-in-dying legislation, and advocates for end-of-life autonomy said it is even more reason for the Legislature to pass the bill this session.

The poll shows about six in 10 New York voters, regardless of region, political party or race, support the bill, which would allow certain patients to request a prescription from a doctor to end the patient's life.

The Aid-in-Dying Act applies to people of sound mind who have a terminal illness and prognosis of fewer than six months to live.

Corinne Carey, senior New York campaign director for Compassion and Choices, says it is time New Yorkers have an end-of-life option.

"It's not taken longer than it normally does to pass a bill of this magnitude," Carey observed. "But it's taking too long, when you look at it from the perspective of people who are suffering at the end of life. They need this option today."

The new survey mirrors the results of a 2019 Siena College poll, which found 58% of New York voters in favor. Opponents have voiced moral concerns about a patient having the option to end their life early, and fear some might be coerced into doing so.

Asw. Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, said they are very close to moving it forward. Paulin has sponsored aid-in-dying legislation for several years, and thinks New York could see it through this year.

"When I first started, only Oregon made aid-in-dying possible for its citizens and residents," Paulin recounted. "And now, we have many states. So, it's changed, and I think that will influence New York to follow suit."

Across both houses, the legislation has 68 co-sponsors. Paulin thinks if the bill clears the Health and Codes committees, it would have enough support in the full Assembly to pass. The legislative session is set to resume in January.

Disclosure: Compassion and Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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