Webinar: Maintaining Autonomy Over Your Healthcare in Later Life
April 14th, 1:00-2:30 PM ET Click here to learn more & register (Pay what you wish; $10 donation recommended)
All of us face the possibility of incapacity in later life and decisions about our health care may need to be made by a trusted family member or friend.
Will your representative – called the health care agent – have the legal authority to speak for you? How will your agent know what your wishes are? How do you make sure your wishes, as expressed by your agent, will be honored by your physicians? Suppose there are disagreements among your family regarding medical decisions be resolved? Does the law allow you to refuse medical treatment that may be life sustaining?
Join us for a webinar with experts in the field of end-of-life care and law to discuss these and other issues concerning your rights, and strategies to enforce those rights. This event is co-hosted with Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC.
Update on Medical Aid in Dying Act
The Medical Aid in Dying Act is still pending in both houses of the NYS Legislature, A. 4321-A (Paulin), and S. 6471 (Savino), with over 60 sponsors. We are extremely pleased that each year more legislators are sponsoring the bills. The bills are in the health committees. The chairs of those committees, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and Senator Gustavo Rivera, are staunch, outspoken supporters. However, neither committee has quite the number of votes yet to have the bill approved. EOLCNY has had, and continues to have, meetings with key legislators on both of those committees and other legislators (or their staff), who have not yet taken a position in support of the bill.
Your help is needed too. Please contact your legislators to indicate your strong support for the bill, especially if you have never done so or have not done so in 2022. To see an example script and identify your legislator, please click here. Additionally, please consider calling several other legislative offices of the Assembly Health Committee. A list of the committee (courtesy of Compassion & Choices) can be found here. If they are already a sponsor you can thank them for their support and urge them to make the bill a priority. If they are not yet a sponsor, urge them to sponsor the bill and explain why it is important to you. You will probably only be able to speak with a staff person. However, these phone calls do make a difference and can be influential as they are counted on pending legislation.
New Article on Medical Aid in Dying
David Leven, Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant, has a newly published article in the New York State Bar Association Health Law Journal, “Refuting Arguments Against the Medical Aid in Dying Act.” It can be read here.
Eleven arguments are refuted including that “MAID is the same as assisted suicide and should not be permitted”, “Palliative or hospice care is enough to relieve the suffering of all dying patients”, “Prognostications by physicians are not always accurate, so patients might end their lives prematurely by MAID”, “Vulnerable populations are at risk and may be abused or coerced” and “There will be a slippery slope to allow patients who are not terminally ill to access Medical Aid in Dying or to allow euthanasia”. We believe that this article is a valuable addition to the literature on medical aid in dying. It will provide you with information you may need when speaking with legislators, their staff or others who may raise arguments discussed in the article.
MA End of Life Options Act
One of our regional allies, Massachusetts Death with Dignity, is working to pass "The End of Life Options Act (H.2381)". It would legalize the compassionate option of medical aid in dying for people with terminal illnesses, and who are mentally capable of making their own healthcare decisions. Passing this bill by the end of the legislative session on July 31 would make Massachusetts the 11th state to do so. Please contact anyone you know in MA and urge them to call on the House and Senate leaders as well as their own legislators to pass H.2381. For more information, please visit massachusettsdeathwithdignity.org or call Massachusetts Death with Dignity, Inc. at 413-387-8439.
Last week, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts heard oral arguments concerning whether capacitated, terminally ill patients have a constitutional right to medical aid in dying. The argument seemed to go well for those seeking to establish the right. If the court holds that there is a constitutional right under the MA constitution, it will be the first highest state court to do so. You can view the one hour argument here Suffolk Law School in Boston - Suffolk University.
Our staff remains committed to answering your questions and we are happy to take your calls or inquiries. Please call us at 212-726-2010 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for your continued support of End of Life Choices New York and our mission. Please consider making a donation today.