The latest from Compassion & Choices

NY Daily News Op-Ed: Freedom to die is a civil right: Pass the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act

An excerpt from the Daily News op-ed, “Freedom to die is a civil right: Pass the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act,” by New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman, published June 2, 2021:

“The right to make decisions about your own body and health care is rooted in core principles of personal liberty and autonomy. Especially during the COVID pandemic, New Yorkers have had to talk more about death and dying. Far too many have sadly had to deal with terrible end-of-life issues for a loved one.

Just as people have the right to refuse medical treatment — even when it might extend their life, but impair the quality of it — they should have the right to seek medical aid when they are dying and medicine cannot prolong their life. They should be allowed to die on their own terms, with dignity…

The New York Medical Aid in Dying Act would allow mentally capable adults who’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness to make the highly personal decision to bring about a peaceful end to their life with the assistance of medication prescribed by a doctor. This legislation would allow those individuals to exercise personal autonomy over how their lives end when the end is inevitable. Even if they choose not to request or take life-ending medication, just knowing that they have the option of exercising control over the end of their lives can bring immense comfort in their final days…

New York should pass this compassionate legislation that honors and respects the wishes of our fellow New Yorkers during the toughest time of their lives. The time for medical aid in dying in New York is now.”