Senator Scarcella-Spanton & Assembly Member Septimo Visit Longtime Staten Islander, Dying of ALS, Who Wants To Be 1st New Yorker to Use NY’s Medical Aid in Dying Act, If Legislature Passes Bill Before Session Ends Friday

Brian Moffett’s Message to Albany: “I Will Likely Not Be Here in 2025. Will You Show Me Love in Death, Or Will I Suffer Because of You?”
June 3, 2024

Lifelong New Yorker Brian Moffett, 66, who hopes to be the first person to use New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act because he is dying of ALS and wants to pass peacefully, was visited Monday by Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton (D-Staten Island) and Assembly Member Amanda Septimo (D-Bronx) at a Manhattan rehab facility.

Moffett, a retired NYC Transit Authority worker who aided in cleanup efforts at Ground Zero after 9/11, said “I beg state lawmakers to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act this week before session ends for the year. I will likely not be here in 2025. Will you show me love in death, or will I suffer because of you? ALS came on very quickly for me. There’s nothing I can do about it, but I hope that New York gives me the right to a peaceful end of life.

“I would love to go August 1 – the same day I was born in 1957. Here that day, gone that day. With my son and his husband, who love me and whom I love, and my dearest friends. Ideally, my friends would play some live music. Just a few weeks ago, they were in my hospital room playing music and singing and it meant so much to me. That’s how I would love to move on and out of this suffering. 

senator jessica scarcella stanton brian moffett assembly member amanda septimo 6 3 24

Brian Moffett, Assembly Member Septimo, Senator Scarcella-Stanton

“I want all my loved ones to be happy for me and throw a party, knowing that I won’t be suffering any longer.”

Moffett asked Scarcella-Spanton – who represents the district in which Moffett lived most of his life on Staten Island – and Septimo to bring his message to Albany and tell their colleagues about his desperate, dying pleas.

Senator Scarcella-Spanton said, “I understand that people – including many of my colleagues – are uncomfortable talking about death. But we all must deal with it in our lives. It’s  not about our discomfort in talking about death, but rather about the opportunity we have to relieve a small number of dying New Yorkers’ suffering, and what a blessing that is. Working with my colleagues, I am still hopeful we can grant Brian and others their dying wish to have peace at the end of their life and pass the bill this week.”

Assembly Member Septimo said, “Brian’s courage – along with that of so many other advocates I’ve met in Albany these last few years – is inspiring. I understand why he so desperately wants to avoid the suffering of late stage ALS before his inevitable death. But it is his courage – and that of Jules Netherland, a constituent of mine who has stage 4 breast cancer and has traveled to Albany this year to advocate for the bill numerous times – that has made me more determined than ever to see this bill passed this session. I will bring Brian’s and Jules’ message of desperation to the Speaker and my colleagues and hope that they are as inspired and determined as I am.”

brian moffett assembly member septimo and senator scarcella stanton

Brian Moffett, Assembly Member Septimo, Senator Scarcella-Stanton

Corinne Carey, senior New York campaign director of Compassion & Choices, said, “If the bill doesn’t pass this week, Brian and far too many other New Yorkers may have to die in agony without this option, before the Legislature reconvenes in 2025. But the Legislature can change all that and pass the bill.

“Medical aid in dying has overwhelming support from the New York voting public and the vast majority of New York doctors, including their two most important associations – the Medical Society of the State of New York and New York State Academy of Family Physicians. The time to pass it is right now, this week,” Carey said. 

 

 

The Medical Aid in Dying Act is supported by more than 50 statewide advocacy groups, including: 

1 in 9 LI Breast Cancer Action Coalition 

ACT UP NY

ALS United Greater New York

Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester

Catholic Vote Common Good

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)

Harlem United

Indivisible Westchester

Latino Commission on AIDS

Latinos for Healthcare Equity

League of Women Voters of NYS 

Medical Society of State of NY (MSSNY)

New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)

NYS Academy of Family Physicians

NYS Bar Association

NYS Public Health Association NOW-NY

Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts

SAGE NY (Services for LGBT elders)

StateWide Senior Action Council

Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion

WESPAC Foundation

Women’s Bar Assn. of NYS

More information on medical aid in dying and the New York campaign can be found on Compassion & Choices’  Facebook or Twitter.

Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
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Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
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(323) 819 0310

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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.

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