New York State Representative Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), together with 23 co-sponsors and 4 multi-sponsors, have sponsored A 2383, Medical Aid in Dying Act, introduced on January 23, 2017. The bill was referred to the Health Committee, and re-referred on January 3, 2018.
If I am terminally ill, I should be able to choose to end my life calmly, peacefully and in a dignified way, at a time and in a setting I choose where I am surrounded by those I love. That is what my bill is about.
New York State Senator Diane Savino (D-N Staten Island/S Brooklyn) together with co-sponsors, Senators Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), Liz Krueger (D-28), and Marisol Alcantara (D-31), are behind the identical companion bill, S 3151.
Neither bill came up for a vote in the 2017 session.
In 2018, hearings on the two bills took place on April 23 (in Albany) and May 3 (in New York City).
New York State Senator John Bonacic (R) introduced a similar bill, S2045, on January 11, 2017; the bill died shortly after. Another similar bill, A 3598, End of Life Options Act, is sponsored by Representative Linda Rosenthal with 5 co-sponsors and 1 multi-sponsor; it was re-referred to the Health Committee on January 1, 2018.
A bill prohibiting insurance companies from covering “physician assisted suicide,” including medical aid in dying drugs, S3989, was also introduced in the State Senate the 2017 session and referred to the Insurance Committee.
The following organizations have endorsed the medical aid-in-dying legislation:
- New York State Academy of Family Physicians
- New York State Public Health Association
- New York Statewide Senior Action Council
The Medical Society of the State of New York opposes the bill.
An April 2018 Quinnipiac University poll shows 63 percent of New York residents support medical aid in dying.
On May 10, 2016, A 10059, Medical Aid in Dying Act, was introduced in the New York state legislature (the companion bill in the Senate is SB 7579). On May 23, 2016, the bill passed in the Assembly Health Committee 14 to 11.
The bill was a combination of two pairs of companion bills that had been pending in the New York legislature since January 2015:
- A5261, Patient Self-Determination Act, sponsored by Rep. Paulin and its companion SB 5814, Patient Self-Determination at the End of Life Act, sponsored by Sen. John Bonacic (R-Middletown); and
- A2129, New York Death with Dignity Act, sponsored by Rep. Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), and its companion SB 3685, New York End of Life Options Act, sponsored by Senators Savino and Hoylman.
New York legislature had considered physician-assisted dying bills a number of times since Oregon’s law passed: 1995 (S 1683, S 5024-A, A 6333), 1999 (SB 4834), 2001 (SB 677), and 2012 (AB 9360).
In May 2016, a state appellate court upheld a lower-court ruling that state residents have a right to refuse medical treatment but physicians do not have the right to help them die.
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