Compassion & Choices Releases Compelling Reasons 5, 6 and 7 in Campaign to “Pass Medical Aid in Dying NOW”

“As momentum continues to grow – we are now up to 55 co-sponsors of the Medical Aid in Dying Act – New Yorkers continue to come to the Capitol every session day to share their stories and to continue talking with lawmakers about the need to authorize medical aid in dying now,” said Compassion & Choices Senior New York Campaign Director Corinne Carey

“Every session day between now and June 2 – unless the Legislature passes the Medical Aid in Dying Act before then – we will release another compelling reason,” Carey said. “This week we heard from an internationally recognized hospice pioneer from Buffalo, the wife of an Albany man who suffered at the end of his life because he didn’t have this peaceful dying option, and the sister of a young 41-year-old man who had a peaceful death surrounded by loved ones after taking a medical aid in dying prescription in Washington.” 

  • The 5th Reason to support New York's Medical Aid in Dying Act comes from Kyra Te Paske of Albany, whose husband, John Ostwald (a columnist with the Troy Record and the Saratogian), died last October after waging a horrendous year-long battle against Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. As Kyra says, “John’s death was not a dignified one. I helplessly held his hand as he suffocated in front of me.” Kyra says the Legislature should pass this bill so those who believe in a loving god can deliver themselves into God’s hands, exercising their own free will to end needless suffering. 
  • The 6th Reason to support New York's Medical Aid in Dying Act comes from Dr. Robert Milch, co-founder of Hospice Buffalo and an internationally recognized palliative care provider. Dr. Milch says that as a physician, he “cannot in conscience dictate when that point of suffering is reached for one with a terminal illness.” That’s why Dr. Milch says the Legislature should pass this bill so that a physician can honor their compassionate and ethical commitment to a patient’s autonomy. 
  • The 7th Reason to support New York's Medical Aid in Dying Act comes from Rachel Remmel from Brighton, whose brother, Ethan Remmel, was one the youngest to self-ingest aid-in-dying prescription medication in Washington State, at 41 years-old in 2011, after a year-long battle with Stage IV colon cancer. Rachel “was and remains grateful for the peace of mind possessing the medication gave Ethan.” Rachel says the Legislature should pass this bill so that a young father facing death can create an end-of-life experience that leaves their children with a powerful memory.

New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act (A.2694/S.3947) with 55 legislative sponsors, including the chairs of both the Assembly and Senate Health committees, is supported by: New York State Academy of Family Physicians, League of Women Voters of New York State, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York State Public Health Association, StateWide Senior Action Council, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Harlem United, Latino Commission on AIDS, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, among many others.

To read the full stories behind Reasons 1-7, click here.