A multidisciplinary group of professionals, led by End of Life Choices New York (EOLCNY) Executive Director David Leven, met with 10 legislators or key staff on the Assembly Health Committee on January 26 to urge them to co- sponsor or support our bill to legalize aid in dying in New York. EOLCNY initiated this bill and it was introduced by lead sponsors Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, A. 5261-C and Senator John Bonacic, 5814-A.
Our group included Robb Smith, Executive Director of Interfaith Impact of New York State; Evelyn Tenenbaum, a law professor and member of the Ethics Committee at Albany Medical Center; EOLCNY Associate Director Laurie Leonard, LMSW, who has worked as a hospice social worker; and EOLCNY Director of Outreach and Education Ayana Woods, MPH, who has worked with several different health organizations. Our lobbyist Vince Marrone arranged the meetings.
We were very pleased with the way most of our meetings went and the level of support for aid in dying. The bill may come up for a vote in the Assembly Health Committee this year, and we of course hope that it will be approved. However, opponents to aid in dying have also been meeting with legislators, and it could be a difficult battle. We need your help! Please write your legislators asking them to support our aid in dying bill. Letters from constituents do have impact. 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.