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Albany aid in dying press conference

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (Health Care Committee Chair) were featured at a press conference earlier this month, largely organized by EOLCNY, on the Paulin/Bonacic Aid in Dying bill. Many media outlets were in attendance and there was a great deal of coverage statewide.

Following the press conference EOLCNY Executive Director David Leven and palliative care expert Dr. Timothy Quill were on a WCNY radio show, and then a Capitol Tonight TV segment. (To view it click here.) They then gave talks on aid in dying at an Albany Law School event attended by over 100 people.

At the press conference Leven said, “New Yorkers owe a debt of gratitude to Assemblywoman Paulin, Senator Bonacic and the other cosponsors of this legislation for their strength and conviction to do the right thing in carrying this legislation.  This is the year New York should enact this legislation. Aid in dying is a fundamental human right that should be possessed by all New Yorkers.”

“The thought of having to suffer through a horrific, painful, degrading death, and one that brings added stress and agony to my loved ones, is inconceivable,” Paulin said. “A majority of New Yorkers have made clear that they do not want limits imposed on their options of what they can and can’t do when they are terminally ill. If I am terminally ill, I should be able to choose to end my life calmly, peacefully and in a dignified way, at a time and in a setting I choose where I am surrounded by those I love. That is what my bill is about.”

Evelyn Tenenbaum, a law professor at Albany Law School and bioethics professor at Albany Medical College said, “The aid in dying bill is intended to give patients who have no choice about dying the choice to end their lives in a manner they find acceptable.  It will also reduce the fear many have about dying from their terminal diseases by giving them the assurance that they can choose to die peacefully if the dying process becomes too much for them. The bill is about choice and also explicitly gives physicians, health care facilities, and other health care providers the choice of refusing to participate.”

Robb Smith, Executive Director of Interfaith Impact of New York State said, “Interfaith Impact believes in the inherent right of a person to determine how they shall die when facing terminal illness with intolerable suffering.  We affirm the last of the human freedoms, the right to die in dignity. We believe in a religious freedom that respects the views of all, but refuses to let the views of any single religious group determine how others act on their understanding of their faith.”

Please write your legislators and ask them to support the Paulin/Bonacic Aid in Dying bill. To find the name of your state assembly representative click here. To find the name of your state senator click here. And for a sample letter you can mail as is or modify, click here.

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