New York physicians push for aid-in-dying law

New York physicians are advocating for a law that would allow terminally ill patients to request medication that will result in their death, the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal reported Nov. 20.

The proposal would allow only terminally ill adults who have a prognosis of less than six months left to live to request prescribed medication that would cause their death. Patients must attest that they understand the consequences of their decisions prior to receiving the prescription.

The legislation is supported by New York State Academy of Family Physicians, New York Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters of New York State, the StateWide Senior Action Council, the New York State Public Health Association and other groups, the newspaper said.

"Patients should not be forced to relocate to another state or to leave the country to control how their lives end," Assemblywoman Amy Paulin stated in the bill. "Patients seek to die with dignity, on their own terms, typically in their own homes, surrounded by their family and other loved ones."

The law, which was tied up in the legislative realm this year, could be passed in 2023, adding New York to the list of states with controversial Medical Aid in Dying laws, according to the report.

The bill is opposed by the New York State Catholic Conference, representing the state's Roman Catholic bishops, as well as other organizations. Critics are concerned the law would be too easy to abuse.

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