New York currently has 12 action team leaders heading action teams in Rockland, the Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island, Albany, the North Country, Buffalo, Rochester, New York City and Syracuse. Action teams are a critical part of Compassion & Choices. They bring together and train other volunteers in their area to coordinate outreach efforts to local officials and educate communities and health professionals. To join one near you, click here.
Since the Medical Aid in Dying Act was introduced in 2016, Compassion & Choices’ New York team has worked to increase the number of supporters throughout the state, cultivated relationships with doctors, increased our outreach to communities of color and built support among influential statewide organizations. The Assembly Health Committee held two hearings on the legislation with more than 200 New Yorkers attending and providing testimony; however, lawmakers adjourned for the 2018 session in June without taking any action on the bill. They returned in January 2019 for the next two-year session, and the Medical Aid in Dying Act was reintroduced in the Assembly and Senate on January 25 and February 21, respectively.
In an interview with Albany-based WAMC Northeast Public Radio on April 9, 2019, when asked about medical aid in dying Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Pass the bill.”
“The older we get and the better medicine gets, the more we’ve seen people suffer for too, too long … it’s a situation we have to address definitely,” Cuomo said. This is the first time Governor Cuomo has publicly spoken on this issue, and we’re hopeful that his statement will help supportive lawmakers’ efforts to pass medical aid-in-dying legislation.
New York Advance Directive
State-specific advance directives make clear your end-of-life preferences if you are unable to make or communicate medical treatment decisions yourself. For the New York advance directive form, click here.
Compassion & Choices launched a robust campaign to authorize medical aid in dying in New York in September 2015.
The Medical Aid in Dying Act was first introduced on May 10, 2016, and nearly 100 C&C supporters turned out to the New York state Capitol in support of the bill. In 2016, we brought lawmakers to the table to negotiate the Medical Aid in Dying Act. Supporters contacted their their representatives in Albany to urge approval in the Health committee, and on May 23, 2016, the Assembly Health Committee passed the bill.
The New York campaign has built support for the legislation by collecting over 10,000 petition signatures at state, county, and local fairs, festivals, and events. Our supporters have met with lawmakers in Albany on our lobby days and in their district offices. We’ve built a coalition of supportive organizations representing doctors, seniors and healthcare advocates; and we have helped dozens of New Yorkers tell their stories in the media and in hearings held by the New York State Assembly during the Spring of 2018. You can read those stories here.
NY hearing FINAL 6.8.18
In 2019 lawmakers in Albany will be asked to take up the Medical Aid in Dying Act once again for consideration. To send a note to your elected representative to urge them to support the bill, click here.
Eagle Point Strategies Survey, September 2015:
Three of four New York voters (77%) think that “when a mentally competent adult is dying from a terminal illness that cannot be cured, the adult should be allowed the option to request a prescription for life-ending medication from their doctor, and decide whether and when to use that medication to end their suffering in their final stages of dying.”
Read the full New York polling data.
A.2694 and S.3947 full text.