Albany Times Union: Opinion: Protect bodily autonomy by authorizing medical aid in dying

An excerpt from The Albany Times Union letter to editor, “Hospitals must disclose ethical, religious rules,” by East Schodack resident Karen R. Kaufmann, published August 28, 2022:


"I commend Rachel Silberstein for her excellent story ( “New York reproductive care eroding amid Catholic-secular hospital mergers,” Aug. 14), uncovering how the “merger negotiations between St. Peter’s and Ellis Medicine in Schenectady County, if finalized, could deprive an already medically underserved community of reproductive care options.”

Sadly, since “St. Peter's Hospital website does not disclose its ethical constraints,” that is only half the story. In fact, the ethical and religious directives that govern Catholic hospitals impact not only those capable of giving birth, but also everyone who has executed a health care proxy directing the withholding of treatment that artificially extends life when one is terminally ill…  

Regardless of one’s religion, it is unethical to hide these restrictions from patients. That’s why lawmakers must pass Sen. Michelle Hinchey’s hospital transparency bill, so patients have the information they need to make fully-informed decisions about both their reproductive and end-of-life care."