New York State Representative Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), together with 10 co-sponsors and 4 multi-sponsors, introduced A 2383, Medical Aid in Dying Act, on January 23, 2017; Senators Diane Savino (D-N Staten Island/S Brooklyn) and Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) are the sponsors of the identical companion bill, S 3151.
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.
The New York State Public Health Association and New York Statewide Senior Action Council, among other groups, have endorsed the legislation. Meanwhile, the Medical Society of the State of New York has approved a poll of its members on the issue.
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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