Compassion & Choices NY Weekly Why: A Change of Heart (March 28)

March 28, 2022

Distributed to New York State Lawmakers via email March 28 2022:

Good morning!

What do a world-renowned Christian theologian, a leading medical ethicist from NYU, an Oregon-based hospice advocate, and a Bronx man who lost his brother to cancer have in common? They all at one point opposed the idea of medical aid in dying, but changed their minds because they considered the evidence and saw the impact that denying this option had for those who suffered at the end of their lives.

I’ve learned a lot from people who changed their position on important issues. If you already co-sponsor New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act (A.4321a/S6471), or have pledged to vote “yes” when it comes before you for a vote, thank you. If you are still skeptical, or consider yourself opposed, I hope you’ll consider these perspectives and be open to a change of heart.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (October 7, 1931 – December 26, 2021)

You can hear a <2 minute clip of him talking about medical aid in dying here, or read an article published in The Guardian about his change of heart here.

Dr. Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics at New York University and the founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics. When we shared 60 Reasons to pass this bill from 60 New Yorkers last year, Dr. Caplan gave us Reason #24. You can read it in full here.


Anthony Randolph, who lost his brother to cancer, told us that when he first heard about death with dignity: “I was like: Hell no! Only God can make that decision, it’s not for us. But then when my brother James was diagnosed with lung cancer, the experience of watching him die changed my mind.” You can read Anthony’s story here.


You can read Ann’s full reasons for changing her mind here.

If you find yourself moved by these pieces and want to add your name as a co-sponsor of this bill, please reach out to Assemblymember Amy Paulin or Senator Diane Savino. If you’re still unsure, please contact me with any questions you might have.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration and I hope you have a great week!



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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