Medical Aid in Dying Act moves forward in Assembly

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act took a big step forward Monday.

The Assembly’s Health Committee gave the bill the green light. It’s next stop is the Assembly Codes Committee.

The measure would allow adults with terminal illnesses to obtain life-ending drugs from a doctor.

The act is sponsored by Assembly Member Amy Paulin and Senator Diane Savino; it’s the result of the merging of two separate aid-in-dying bills.

New York’s proposed legislation is modeled closely after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law, which has been around almost 20 years.

“We have a lot of talking to do, a lot of meeting with constituents, a lot of questions to answer and our supporters are eager to do that,” said New York Campaign Director for Compassion and Choices, Corinne Carey.

Compassion and Choices is a national organization that pushes to expand end of life options.

Carey said opponents of New York’s bill are often concerned with lack of safe guards, but she said New York’s bill has tight reigns, just like Oregon’s.

“We believe that because there have been no cases of abuse or misuse in Oregon, that using these same safeguards is the right recipe for New York,” Carey told News 4.

Here’s what New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act will require.

  • Two doctors must determine an adult has 6 months or less to live
  • There must also be two witnesses present
  • Misuse of the law could result in criminal prosecution
  • No hospital or doctor would be forced to participate in aid in dying

77 percent of New Yorkers are on board with this measure, and a growing number of doctors are also pledging their support.

“We’ve had a fantastic model in this country for nearly two decades in Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law. That’s why every state that considers this legislation looks back to Oregon’s law as a model. and that’s what we did here in New York,” said Carey.

 

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