Medical aid-in-dying bill sees stronger support in NY Legislature
Monday, November 27, 2023
Legislation to allow medical aid in dying bill has been introduced in New York State every year since 2015, and its backers say 2024 could be the year it finally passes.
The bill would allow terminally ill people with only six months to live to use this option rather than endure unending pain.
Proponents point out that numerous safeguards are key components of the bill, including requiring two physicians to approve the request.
Assemblymember Amy Paulin - D-Scarsdale, the bill's sponsor - said she is convinced the reason it hasn't passed yet is fear of the unknown.
"Any new concept - and this is relatively new, new for New York, anyway - takes time," said Paulin. "Death is certainly a very sensitive topic - it's going to happen to all of us one day, and people avoid thinking about it. In this context, the concerns are forcing someone to do it, protections around it, all of those things."
Given that it's a complex and emotional issue, Paulin said she finds it's taken quite some time to educate people about it.
Opponents often refer to medical aid in dying as "assisted suicide," but the latest Siena College poll finds more than half of New Yorkers would support a medical aid-in-dying law.
Currently, ten states and Washington, D.C, have medical aid-in-dying laws.
Corinne Carey - campaign director for New York and New Jersey with the nonprofit Compassion & Choices - said she was concerned the pandemic might turn people off to this concept.
Instead, she said she finds it got more people interested in pursuing what she calls a "good death."
"No death is a 'good death,'" said Carey, "but certainly New Yorkers know that they don't want a death where they are separated, isolated from loved ones and suffering at the end."
A substantial number of New York lawmakers cosigned the bill, and Carey noted that it's up to the state's leadership to get this legislation across the finish line.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…