Supporters of death with dignity and the four organizations comprising the New York Alliance for Medical Aid in Dying filled the hallways and offices at the State Capitol on Tuesday to urge legislators to support A 2694, the Medical Aid in Dying Act.
During an hour-long program, New York State Assemblymember and bill sponsor Amy Paulin; Senators Diane Savino and Brad Hoylman; assisted-dying advocates; and terminally ill patients shared stories of their personal connection to the death with dignity movement and their dedication to making aid in dying an end-of-life option for New Yorkers.
Jonathan Partridge shared the story of his late mother, a vivacious woman whose painful death from cancer deprived her of her autonomy, caused her unnecessary suffering, and inspired him to become an outspoken advocate for death with dignity.
“My mom told me multiple times that she wished she had a quick and painless way to hasten her death,” Jonathan said. “My mother should have had this option. Death with dignity is an option we should all have at the end of life.”
— Death with Dignity (@DeathwDignity) May 14, 2019
Later on, supporters visited with legislators to share their stories and make the case for New York to join California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C. in adopting a death with dignity law.
Assemblymember Paulin noted the growing support for the Medical Aid in Dying Act, including from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who last month said he would sign the bill if the Legislature passes it.
We continue to see more support for the medical aid-in-dying bill, from the Governor to the physicians of @NYSAFP and we'll continue to make the case that NY should follow the lead of NJ and others by passing this carefully-crafted bill. https://t.co/LvWyDnxVln
— Amy Paulin (@AmyPaulin) May 14, 2019
One of the state’s largest newspapers, the Albany Times-Union, editorialized in favor of the bill.
“Polls in recent months have found most New York residents and doctors favor legalizing medical aid in dying,” the Times-Union editorial board wrote. “The bill is premised on the humane notion that a mentally competent adult should be able to make the choice to avoid prolonged, unnecessary agony when death is near and inevitable. It’s time people in this state are allowed the option.”