The New York Court of Appeals has done the right thing by declaring that there is no constitutional “right” to physician-assisted suicide. As New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms looks ahead to the 2018 legislative session in Albany, here is what our friends and supporters should know about physician-assisted suicide:
- Courts in other states are rejecting claims of a “right” to assisted suicide. In the Myers v. Schneiderman decision, the New York Court of Appeals noted that four other states’ courts had rejected claims made by physician-assisted suicide advocates.
- Efforts to pass physician-assisted suicide bills have stalled, both in New York and across the nation. Physician-assisted suicide is only legal in six states. So far this year, not one state anywhere in the country has legalized physician-assisted suicide. Here in New York, physician-assisted suicide advocates have lost ground. In 2016, physician-assisted suicide legislation squeaked through the Assembly Health Committee by one vote; however, in 2017, the bill did not even receive committee consideration. While it would be rash to become overconfident, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms does not believe that the bill’s chances will improve in 2018.
- There is broad bipartisan opposition to physician-assisted suicide. When the New York State Assembly Health Committee considered physician-assisted suicide legislation in 2016, six Democrats and five Republicans voted against the bill. In addition, the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide includes participants from across the ideological spectrum.
- Your voices make a difference. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms intends to keep working to prevent physician-assisted suicide from becoming law in New York, but we need your help. Please contact your elected officials today and ask them to say “no” to physician-assisted suicide. Terminally ill persons deserve aid in living, not aid in dying.