EOLCNY board vice-president Dr. Peter Rogatz and executive director David Leven recently had letters to the editor published in area newspapers. On July 17th the New York Times printed Leven’s letter, in which he called for significant expansion of hospice use, pointing out that only about 30% of New York Medicare recipients receive hospice care, despite the substantial benefits it provides. Read his full letter here.
On July 20th the Albany Times Union printed Rogatz’s letter, in which he said “The physician who complies with a patient’s plea for final release from dying under unbearable conditions is doing good, not harm, and his or her actions are surely consonant with the Hippocratic tradition. Harm may result not only from the commission of a wrongful act but also from the omission of an act of mercy…Doctors who provide life-ending medicines to dying patients to end suffering are practicing gentle, caring patient-centered medicine.” Read the full letter here.
And on July 23rd the Albany Times Union posted a letter from Leven in which he provided a number of facts about aid in dying and closed by saying “No mentally competent, dying person should have to endure more suffering than she or he is willing to bear. Aid in dying must be available to patients to achieve a peaceful death.” The full letter is here.