As was announced last month, there has been a leadership change at End of Life Choices New York (EOLCNY). Michele Disken Greco, MPA is excited to step in as the new Interim Executive Director for EOLCNY. Michele is a highly skilled, strategic, and collaborative nonprofit professional with 20 years of comprehensive experience at New York City organizations focused on health. She has significant expertise in grassroots and legislative advocacy, community engagement and alliance building, program planning and evaluation, and strategic planning and operations. A Note from Michele: “I am thrilled to be on board with EOLCNY’s incredible team of staff, volunteers, and expert consultants working to improve end of life care, expand end of life options, and promote healthcare equity at the end of life. The organization’s three core mission pillars are essential both on their own and in conjunction with each other: community and professional education programs highlight that knowledge is power; information and support services help empower individuals and their families; and advocacy initiatives aim to expand and enforce patient rights and options for all.”
EOLCNY thanks you in advance for your continued support of these essential efforts.
Medical Aid in Dying Act Review
Medical aid in dying (MAID) is now authorized in 10 states and DC, including our neighbors New Jersey and Vermont, providing access to this compassionate, effective, safe end of life option to over 20% of the US population. However, our New York bill, the Medical Aid in Dying Act, A. 4321, S. 6471, pending for seven years, was unfortunately not passed before the end of the recent legislature session.
While none of the three leaders of our state government (Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie) have publicly indicated their support for the bill, there continues to be growing support within the state legislature. There are now over 70 sponsors of the Medical Aid in Dying Act, and there will be many new state legislators in January. It appears that younger, more progressive legislators are more likely to support the Medical Aid in Dying Act. And, while Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, chair of the Assembly Health Committee and a champion of the bill, is retiring, we are hopeful that the new chair will also be a staunch supporter. We are also hopeful that the new health committees in both houses will have a majority of members who will be supporters of the bill.
There is strong support for MAID across the state, regardless of political affiliation, race, age, gender and religion; and doctors support the bill by a 3 to 1 margin. Moreover, there is overwhelming evidence that MAID laws in states that authorize the practice have worked as intended and that none of the problems expected by opponents have emerged.
We urge all supporters of MAID legalization in New York to reach out to their legislators, as well as to the Governor and legislative leaders, to indicate strong support for the Medical Aid in Dying Act. To contact your legislators, click here. If you have any questions, please contact David Leven, EOLCNY Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant, at email@example.com or (914) 907-6156.
Volunteer Virtual Summit Hosted by Compassion & Choices
Compassion & Choices, an organization with which we work closely, is having a virtual volunteer summit on July 20. Join volunteers and those interested in volunteering in New York for this opportunity to learn about volunteering with Compassion & Choices, what can be done in the next few months and most importantly to connect with advocates in your area! This casual event is the first step toward becoming a volunteer in the movement to expand and protect end-of-life options.
Join online and meet like-minded neighbors who are advocating for expanding end-of-life care options in New York. We have included information below for those who might be interested in attending.
WHAT: Compassion & Choices New York Virtual Volunteer Summit WHEN: Wednesday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m. ET WHO: Compassion & Choices New York staff, current volunteers and anyone interested in volunteering WHERE: Online, via Zoom Click here to RSVP
Thank you for supporting our efforts to fight for improved end of life care and expanded end of life options!