77% of New Yorkers support aid in dying according to a 2015 poll, including large majorities of Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, as well as Catholics.
Medical Aid in Dying
Medical Aid in Dying occurs when at the request of a terminally ill, mentally competent adult, a doctor prescribes a life ending medication which the patient must self-administer, if he or she chooses to do so, in order to have a peaceful death.It is currently legal in ten states (Oregon, Washington, California, Montana, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, New Mexico, and New Jersey) and the District of Columbia. It is also legal in all of Canada. Medical Aid in Dying should be an available option in New York.
There is now a large body of evidence, compiled over two decades from Oregon and Washington, which demonstrates that medical aid in dying causes no harm and is beneficial to patients and families. No problems have emerged as expected by opponents. Medical Aid in Dying is rarely used; only about one in three hundred deaths occur in this manner in states where the practice is legal and about one third of patients who obtain the medications do not take them. However, dying patients are enormously comforted knowing that this option is available.
77% of New Yorkers support Medical Aid in Dying according to a 2015 poll, including large majorities of Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, as well as Catholics. Physicians support medical aid in dying by an almost 2 to 1 margin, 57% to 29% per a 2016 Medscape poll.
Learn MoreTo learn more, you can read the text of the bill here: nyassembly.gov
The Bill's History
In May 2016 the New York State Assembly Health Committee approved the Medical Aid in Dying Act (A.10059/S.7579) by a 14-11 vote. The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and a bipartisan group of Assembly members, including Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried.
In January 2017 the newly elected New York State legislature convened, requiring the reintroduction of bills that were being considered by last year's legislature. The Medical Aid in Dying Act (S. 3151, A. 2383) was reintroduced, with the same prime sponsors as last year, Senator Diane Savino and Assemblymember Amy Paulin. The bill allows terminally ill, mentally competent, adult patients the right to receive a prescription of medications which they can take (if they choose to do so) to achieve a peaceful death.
In 2020 the was Medical Aid in Dying Act was reintroduced to the legislature as S. 6471, A. 4321, again with the same prime sponsors. The bill can be reviewed here.