Aid in dying proposal has patient protections
Regarding the letter, “Aid in dying proposal lacks vital safeguards,” while I respect the writer’s right to disagree, I’m disappointed at his use of scare tactics and outright lies. New York’s proposed law – as well as those passed in six other states and Washington, D.C. – is modeled on Oregon’s two decades-old law. The bill requires the participation of more than one doctor; it protects this personal decision from undue influence by others; and it requires that patients be counseled about the availability of palliative care.
More than three-quarters of New Yorkers support efforts to legalize aid in dying. That support continues to grow as people step forward to share personal stories about loved ones with a terminal illness who have died in agonizing pain, despite receiving end-of-life care.
More and more professional health care associations, faith leaders and lawmakers across the country support aid in dying. They’ve considered the facts and some have witnessed firsthand people who have died in needless pain. They recognize that where it’s legal, few people receive aid in dying, but millions are comforted knowing they have the choice.
All of us want to die with dignity. Some, like my father, want all possible treatment options and to suffer bravely until the end. Others want enough pain medication to relieve suffering, which often renders them unconscious before death. But some want to choose their own course when the end is near by receiving aid in dying. My work as an advocate is to make sure that every New Yorker can die with dignity, no matter what that means to them.
NY Campaign Director
Compassion & Choices