Compassion & Choices NY Weekly Why: Peace & Love is what it’s all about (Feb. 14)

February 14, 2022

Distributed to New York State Lawmakers via email February 14, 2022:

It’s hard to escape the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day as we’re surrounded by the marketing of red hearts and chocolate everywhere we turn. But on this day that is meant to celebrate love, let me tell you why New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act (A4321a/S6471) is all about peace and love.

(From R-L: Anne French, from New Jersey; Mimi Ankerholz 1970-2021, with her husband Jesse, from Colorado) 
I want to share three stories with you today, and you can click on each name below to read their stories:
  • Mimi Ankerholz, who spoke to New York lawmakers last year before she died in Colorado on August 6, 2021. Mimi said:
I was raised Catholic and I struggled with the thought that I may not go to heaven as a result. Was this suicide? No. Cancer is killing me. My God does not want me to suffer needlessly. He would not force me to endure such pain when a peaceful option exists. . . . Medical aid in dying meant I could die at home, my safe spot, surrounded by love. . . . When I’m ready, I can toast my life with a strawberry margarita and when the sun goes down, fall asleep in my husband’s arms.”
  • Anne French, a New Jersey woman I work with who is on the verge of getting her prescription in the Garden State. Anne says:
My doctors have confirmed that I have less than six months to live. I’m on hospice now, and at 79 pounds, I’ve lost 30 percent of my body weight. In a few weeks, I will receive a prescription for a peaceful death. But right now I’m still glad I’m here each day. My goal is just to live my life, to love and spend time with people as long as I can.”
  • New Yorker Myra Shulman, who’s mom was one of the first to use the California aid-in-dying law. “We decided to make it a celebration of our love for our mother,” Myra said of the day her mother took the prescription and died peacefully.

The common thread here is peace and love. That’s what it’s all about.
And you have the power to give the gift of peace and love to countless New Yorkers by taking action TODAY. For those of you who already co-sponsor the bill, thank you. Please talk to just one of your colleagues who’s not yet on the bill and have a conversation. You might be surprised by what you hear, and you can help spread the message about what this bill is, and what it isn’t.
And if you haven’t yet decided where you stand, or you haven’t come out publicly in support of the bill, please consider these stories — and all of the information we’ve been sharing with you about this compassionate legislation. I hope you’ll contact me with any questions you have, or join us by simply reaching out to Assemblymember Amy Paulin or Senator Diane Savino who carry the bill in their respective houses.
Thank you, and I hope you and those close to you have a week filled with peace and love.


Weekly Why Archive

Each week that New York State Lawmakers were in session in 2022, Compassion & Choices New York provided a deep dive into each of the issues surrounding New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act. You can find each of these weekly communications with lawmakers here: 

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