Compassion & Choices Statement in Response to News Conference by Opponents of NY Medical Aid in Dying Act
“Two-thirds of New York doctors support the Medical Aid in Dying Act with all its safeguards, and the 6,000+ New York Academy of Family Physicians strongly supports medical aid in dying, after having opposed it,” said Corinne Carey, Senior New York Senior Campaign Director, Compassion & Choices in response to a Capitol news conference by bill opponents.
“Dr. Robert Milch, co-founder of Hospice Buffalo and an internationally-recognized palliative care provider, today released Reason #6 of the ’50 Reasons to Pass Medical Aid in Dying NOW Campaign: ‘So that a physician can honor their compassionate and ethical commitment to a patient’s autonomy.’
“Last week, Dr. Al Giwa, an emergency medicine physician for more than 20 years, assistant professor and member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Ethics Committee, presented 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.’
“If lawmakers want to know what the vast majority of New York doctors and medical professionals think, ask them. They know that New Yorkers should have this same compassionate end-of-life care option as our neighbors in Vermont, New Jersey, seven other states and Washington, D.C. have. Opponents are peddling the politics of fear with arguments more than a quarter-century old, asking lawmakers to ignore more than two decades of evidence that show these laws guarantee patient autonomy and prevent abuse and coercion. The facts are clear. Dying New Yorkers cannot wait. The time to act is now.”