Countless New Yorkers suffer as the New York State Legislature delays a vote on the Medical Aid in Dying Act. Each day until lawmakers adjourn for 2020 on June 2 — 50 days in all — Compassion & Choices is giving lawmakers 50 Reasons to pass the bill NOW. Read each reason below, then email your lawmakers today to share YOUR reason to pass the bill.

New stories will be posted each week on days when the legislature is scheduled to be in session.

Reason #18: So that no one is forced to be at someone else’s mercy for pain management and comfort care at the end of life after enduring countless treatments, procedures, and side effects in order to live as long as possible.  

Susan Rahn is a longtime advocate for medical aid in dying living with terminal cancer.

"I have been monumentally lucky; however, one day that luck will run out. When it does, I want to know Albany did not let me down. Join me in telling our lawmakers it’s time to do what’s right. It’s time to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act."

Read Susan's Story

Reason #14: Because those who are chronically subjected to health disparities deserve to learn about and have access to end-of-life options that can help them achieve peace, comfort, and dignity at the end of life.  

Dr. Jeff Gardere is a clinical psychologist, an ordained Interfaith Minister and an associate professor at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City.

"There are too many terminally ill, dying New Yorkers who are unnecessarily suffering at the end of life. There are too many New Yorkers who passed away advocating for passage of this law. We owe it to all of them to provide an end-of-life option that offers peace, comfort and dignity."

Read Dr. Jeff's Story

Reason #13: So that no one's Thanksgiving dinner ends with a shotgun to the head in the barn out back because nothing else could provide relief.  

A board-certified internist with subspecialty certification in pulmonary medicine and preventive medicine, Dr. David Pratt served as Commissioner of Public Health Services for Schenectady County from 2009-2012.

"As a physician who would have liked to give my patients the gift of peace at the end of their lives, my goal is to make the medical practice of aid in dying an open, accessible and legitimate option for terminally ill, mentally capable adults with less than six months to live."

Read Dr. Pratt's Story

Reason #12: So that no daughter’s obligation is to help her mother die. And then 40 years later, may face the same obligation to her husband.  

Betty Rollin is Emmy Award-winning journalist, author and former correspondent for NBC News. Her bestselling 1985 memoir Last Wish deals with her mother Ida's plea for help to die peacefully, and Betty's actions to fulfill her mother's end-of-life wishes. Today her husband has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis and may face the same grim options her mother did over 3 decades ago.

"My husband has stage 4 colon cancer. Our lives have been lucky and we are grateful. We may continue to be lucky and die in our sleep. But we’re not counting on that and should either of us get to a point where we want to die with a physician’s help, we can’t have that help. Nor can anyone else who happens to live in New York State."

Read Betty's Story

Reason #6: So that a physician can honor their compassionate and ethical commitment to a patient’s autonomy  

The co-founder of Hospice Buffalo (1978) and an internationally recognized palliative care provider, Dr. Robert Milch supports medical aid-in-dying legislation.

"As a physician, however skillful in symptom management and earnest in the supportive engagement of the patient and family, I cannot in conscience dictate when that point of suffering is reached for one with a terminal illness."

Read Dr. Milch's Story

Reason #4: Because I have had patients who have suffered needlessly at the end of life, despite our best attempts to deliver excellent palliative care.  

Dr. Al Giwa, LL.B, MD, MBA, FAAEM, FACEP, is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

"Dying with dignity may go by many names but the key is to allow the independent and autonomous dignity of the patient to be maintained in their final days."

Read Dr. Giwa's Story

Reason #3: So that no family has to watch their matriarch, mother or grandmother starve to death for 11 long and torturous days.  

Janet Duprey is a former Republican member of the New York State Assembly (District 115).

"I am not going to presume that my Dad, a devout Irish Catholic, or my Mom an equally devout Methodist, would have chosen to ask for medical aid in dying at the end. But I am certain that they deserved the right to choose their own destiny, and I want the right to choose my own destiny in the end."

Read Janet's Story

Reason #1: So that after more than 30 years of a vibrant life together, no one has to remember the final moments of a life well-lived as ones spent in agony.  

Florrie Burke continues to advocate for medical aid in dying in memory of her spouse, pioneering filmmaker and activist Barbara Hammer.

"I’m in my mid-70s and in relatively good health, but after watching Barbara die with needless suffering, the last thing I want to do when I die — as we all will do one day — is repeat her end-of-life experience. I want options."

Read Florrie's Story