Assisted Suicide Fight Anticipated In Next Legislative Session

As the 2023 legislative session approaches, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is gearing up to continue the fight against assisted suicide.

At this time, assisted suicide is legal in 11 states. Assisted suicide advocates would like nothing better than to make New York the twelfth. To date, they have gained little traction in the New York State Legislature. In 2016, assisted suicide legislation was narrowly approved by the Assembly Health Committee; since then, the bill has not received committee votes or floor votes in the Assembly or the Senate. Efforts to use New York courts to legalize assisted suicide have failed; in September 2017, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that there is no right to assisted suicide under the New York State Constitution.

New York’s assisted suicide bill would allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs upon request to terminally-ill patients who are expected to die within six months. This damaging proposal assumes that the lives of terminally-ill persons are worth less than the lives of other New Yorkers. It would create an incentive for insurance companies to offer lethal drugs instead of costly treatments. It could also lead persons to choose assisted suicide when they might otherwise have been able to fight their illnesses and outlive their prognoses.

The assisted suicide bill is sponsored by 17 state senators and 56 state assemblymembers. Thankfully, four Senate sponsors and at least 10 Assembly sponsors of the bill will not be returning to Albany following last month’s elections. As pro-assisted-suicide activists continue the statewide push for their deadly agenda, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and our allies in the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide will continue to push back. We will encourage new members of the Legislature to see this anti-life agenda for what it is and to affirm that the lives of terminally ill persons have value and worth.