The movement to stop the spread of physician-assisted suicide laws in the United States won an important victory earlier this month.
In New Jersey, physician-assisted suicide legislation has failed to reach the State Senate floor for a vote. According to Democratic New Jersey State Senator Peter Barnes, “‘[a] bi-partisan group of New Jersey Senators took the time to listen to the disability-rights community and to understand why it is important that doctor-prescribed suicide not become law in New Jersey. It became clear that this bill would have a detrimental impact on vulnerable populations and expose them to abuse, coercion and possible denial of health care… [T]here are other solutions than doctor-prescribed suicide to address end-of-life pain.’” At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we believe that the approach used in New Jersey is instructive for our pro-life efforts in Albany.
With that said, it is important to note that our opponents have not been idle. On January 12, a misleadingly-named pro-assisted-suicide organization called Compassion and Choices held a demonstration on the third floor of the New York State Capitol. The rally was attended by several dozen supporters and a few legislators. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and other opponents of assisted suicide were on the scene to speak out against this damaging proposal. Throughout the 2016 legislative session, we will be actively working to achieve the same result that our New Jersey neighbors have achieved: Preventing a Senate vote on physician-assisted suicide.