In re: Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide (S.6471-Savino/A.4321-Paulin)

Bill S.6471/Savino/A.4321-Paulin would reverse New York’s long-standing ban on assisted suicide, and would allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to certain terminally ill adults that formally request such drugs. In considering this legislation, Members of the New York State Legislature must answer several fundamental questions. First, do we, as New Yorkers, believe that human life has inherent value and worth? If we do, is it possible to harmonize that belief with a law that allows people to take their own lives, and allows others to assist them in so doing? If we no longer believe that human life has inherent value and worth, what alternative belief system will we use as a foundation for law and public policy?

Every human life truly does have value and worth, and a terminal illness does not render a person’s life worthless. Physician-assisted suicide represents a complete abdication of our moral responsibility to persons suffering from terminal illnesses. Rather than caring for such persons with the utmost sensitivity and compassion, the sponsors of this bill would have us simply expedite their demise. The State of New York must do better.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms strongly urges Members of the New York State Legislature to reject this bill and all other efforts to legalize physician-assisted suicide.