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Albany Times Union Opinion: Aid-in-dying empowers patients to make decision

An excerpt from the Albany Times union opinion section, “Aid-in-dying empowers patients to make decision,” by Compassion & Choices Senior Campaign Director for New York and New Jersey Corinne Carey, published April 10, 2020:


Three columns opposing New York’s Medical Aid In Dying Act under the heading “A right to die?” (March 22) were written as if medical aid-in-dying were a new concept. All three promote arguments raised before the nation’s first such law took effect in Oregon in 1997. Since then, more than two decades of experience, data and evidence from Oregon, eight additional states (including our neighboring states Vermont and New Jersey) and Washington, D.C., have proven these claims are unfounded.

Only terminally ill, mentally capable adults with six months or less to live, as confirmed by two doctors, can access medical aid-in-dying. They, themselves, must request it — twice, orally and in writing. This end-of-life care option isn’t for “anyone with or without an illness.” That’s absurd and untrue.

The bill has strong safeguards modeled after this medical practice in the 10 authorized jurisdictions. There has not been a single case of abuse, coercion or misuse in any of them. Not one. Disability Rights Oregon says it has never “received…a complaint that a person with disabilities was coerced or being coerced to make use of” it.

Medical aid-in-dying simply empowers everyone to make our own medical decisions…