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New York

Current Status

A 2694, Medical Aid in Dying Act, was introduced on January 28, 2019. In addition to the main sponsor, New York State Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), co-sponsors include Assemblymembers Rosenthal, Gottfried, Dinowitz, Galef, Hevesi, Steck, Blake, Lavine, Lupardo, Abinanti, Rodriguez, Jaffee, Jones, D’Urso, Miller, Ortiz, Arroyo, Simotas, Vanel, Quart, Rivera, Miller, Thiele, Mosley, Epstein, Seawright, and Woerner (27 in total) and multi-sponsors include Assemblymembers Braunstein, Crouch, and Lifton (3 in total).

The Senate counterpart, S 3947, was introduced in the New York State Senate on February 21, 2019, and referred to the Health Committee. The primary sponsor is Senator Diane J. Savino (D-23), co-sponsors include Senators Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), Alessandra Biaggi, Gustavo Rivera, Pete Harckham, Liz Krueger, and Luis R. Sepúlveda.

Take Action

Tell Your New York State Legislators to Support the Medical Aid in Dying Act

Send a Letter

Urge your New York state legislators to support death with dignity!

A number of New York State legislators are sponsoring A 2694 / S 3947, Medical Aid in Dying Act. The bill would allow qualified, terminally-ill adult residents of New York to legally obtain a prescription from their physician for medications to end their life peacefully, in a dignified way, at the place and time of their choosing.

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Endorsements

The following organizations have endorsed the medical aid-in-dying legislation:

Healthcare
  • New York State Academy of Family Physicians
  • New York State Public Health Association
  • New York Statewide Senior Action Council
Other Fields

The Medical Society of the State of New York opposes the bill.

Polling

  • An April 2018 Quinnipiac University poll shows 63 percent of New York residents support medical aid in dying.
  • A January 2019 poll shows 56 percent of New York physicians support medical aid in dying, while 67 percent support the aid in dying legislation under consideration.

Related Bills

  • A 30 – “relates to requiring the commissioner of health to conduct a study relating to medical aid in dying”
  • S 647 – “relates to prohibiting insurance coverage for physician assisted suicide”

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History

2018

New York State Assemblymember 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 Assemblymember Amy Paulin

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).

Other Bills

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, was sponsored by Assemblymembers 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.

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:

Pre-2016

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)
  • 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.

Take Action

Tell Your New York State Legislators to Support the Medical Aid in Dying Act

Send a Letter

Urge your New York state legislators to support death with dignity!

A number of New York State legislators are sponsoring A 2694 / S 3947, Medical Aid in Dying Act. The bill would allow qualified, terminally-ill adult residents of New York to legally obtain a prescription from their physician for medications to end their life peacefully, in a dignified way, at the place and time of their choosing.

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