Public Hearing – Opioid Overdose Reversal Drugs

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

SUBJECT:  Opioid overdose reversal drugs: assessing and improving access to and availability of drugs to prevent opioid overdose deaths.

PURPOSE:  The purpose of this hearing is to examine access to and availability of opioid overdose reversal drugs, such as naloxone, and to identify, if necessary, means by which to expand access and availability statewide.

New York City
Thursday, May 17
11:00 A.M.
Assembly Hearing Room
19th Floor
250 Broadway

Opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, are potentially life-saving prescription medications used to reverse overdoses caused by heroin and opioids. New York State has made progress expanding access to naloxone and similar drugs. In 2006, New York State passed a law authorizing non-medical personnel to administer naloxone to individuals who seek it. A 2014 law expanded this to allow the prescribing, dispensing, and distribution of opioid antagonists by a non-patient specific order. In addition, many first responders now receive training to administer naloxone.

Gay City News: De Blasio Moves on Safer Consumption Spaces to Curb Overdoses

By Nathan Riley, May 4

BY NATHAN RILEY | A multi-year push in New York City to offer drug users a safe place for consuming their drugs seems destined for success after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support for “overdose prevention centers.”

Public health advocates voiced enthusiasm as the news spread on May 3 that the administration had reached out to Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, for a go-ahead to open four Safer Consumption Spaces in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

AM New York: New York’s physician-assisted suicide bill debated at State Assembly Committee on Health

By Anne Erhart, May 3

The State Assembly Committee on Health heard testimony from 48 people on Thursday regarding a bill allowing medical aid in dying, or physician-assisted suicide.

The bill would allow for terminally ill patients with a prognosis of six months-or-less to live to take a “cocktail” of drugs to end their life. It would also allow them to pick up the “cocktail” up from their pharmacy once approved by two doctors and confirmed by two independent witnesses.

New York’s proposed legislation is modeled on Oregon’s medical aid in dying bill, which has been in place since 1994. The legislation is known as “assisted suicide” by its opponents, and is currently legal in seven total states and the District of Columbia.

Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers support allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients, according to a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

ABC 7: New York lawmakers hold hearing on physician-assisted suicide (w/ video)

By Dave Evans, May 3 (video in link)

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) –

State lawmakers in New York are taking a closer look at a legislative proposal to give terminally ill people the right to seek life-ending medication from their physician.

The Assembly’s Health Committee held a public hearing on the measure Thursday in Manhattan. It came after a hearing last month in Albany.

The proposal now before lawmakers, called the Medical Aid in Dying Law, would require two doctors to sign off on the use of life-ending medication. The patient must be within six months of death and must self-administer the drug.

El Diario: Debaten ley de muerte asistida en la ciudad de Nueva York

By Pedro Frisneda, May 3

Quizás, aparte del aborto y la marihuana medicinal, no existe otro tema médico y de salud más polémico y controversial que el de la muerte asistida.

Esto quedó muy claro, este jueves, durante la primera audiencia pública que se realiza en la ciudad de Nueva York sobre una legislación estatal que, de ser aprobada, permitiría a enfermos terminales –que sean adultos mentalmente competentes–, la opción de solicitar ayuda médica para morir.

Durante la audiencia, organizada por el Comité de Salud de la Asamblea Estatal de Nueva York, que tiene en sus manos la responsabilidad de aprobar el anteproyecto antes de que pase al pleno de la Asamblea Estatal,  los neoyorquinos tuvieron la oportunidad de escuchar los diferentes puntos de vista y argumentos de medio centenar de personas que expusieron su apoyo o rechazo a la legislación.

Tal como lo plantea el proyecto de ley A-2383-A, conocido como ‘Medical Aid in Dying Act‘ (Ayuda Médica para Morir),  que fue patrocinado por la asambleísta Amy Paulin (D-Westchester), los neoyorquinos adultos con enfermedades mortales  –como los que tiene cáncer en estado terminal–, y que estén en pleno juicio, tendrían la opción de solicitar a un doctor una prescripción  para un medicamento que puedan tomar por sí mismo y  que les permita morir pacíficamente mientras duermen, si su sufrimiento y dolor se vuelven insoportables.

NY Post: Not everyone is happy that restaurants are going cashless

By Lisa Fickensher, April 24

Cash is no longer king.

A growing number of restaurants across the country — like test locations for Starbucks and Shake Shack and the entire Sweetgreen, Dos Toros and Tender Greens chains — are no longer accepting cash.

It’s all plastic all the time.

The stores believe not dealing with cash helps move the line of customers faster.

Most people pay for their meals with a credit card anyway, the chains argue. Plus, counting the cash at the end of the day is a waste of time.

But the war on cash has sparked a backlash.

State lawmakers, a civil rights group, the National Retail Federation and a company servicing ATMs are all pushing back against the trend, claiming that refusing the greenback — on which the US Treasury writes “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private” — is simply un-American.

“I think Americans ought to have a right to pay with cash,” New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried told The Post. The Manhattan lawmaker circulated a memo on Tuesday to his colleagues proposing legislation requiring New York businesses to accept cash.

Capitol Pressroom: Medical Aid in Dying (Audio)

On April 23, I joined Assembly Member Amy Paulin on Capitol Pressroom to discuss Medical Aid in Dying:  Audio here.

News 10 Albany: NY Assembly hearing held on aid in dying (with video)

By Morgan McKay, 4/23/18 (video at link)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York Assembly heard testimony that will decide if they should proceed with legislation that would allow for medical aid in dying or physician-assisted suicide.

“They should have had the right to choose,” Janet Duprey, Former Republican Assemblywoman from Plattsburgh, said.

Duprey says her mother suffered a series of strokes and eventually requested for her feeding tube to be removed.

“She did not want the feeding tube reinserted, she simply wanted to die. It took her 11 days to starve to death.

For this reason, Duprey and a large crowd in yellow shirts came to the Assembly hearing to show their support for medical aid in dying legislation.

Associated Press: Legislative hearing on aid-in-dying bill attracts big crowds

By David Klepper, 4/27

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of people on both sides of the debate over physician-assisted suicide traveled to Albany on Monday for a hearing on legislation that would allow people with a terminal illness to request life-ending medication from a doctor.

The measure has been discussed for years in the state Capitol but faces significant legislative opposition and isn’t expected to pass before lawmakers adjourn their session in June. But supporters insist they’re gaining momentum as other states adopt similar laws. Colorado, Washington, Vermont, California, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii and Washington D.C. allow people to seek a doctor’s help in ending their life.

Under the proposal, which is based on Oregon’s 21-year-old law, a person with a terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months or less could obtain life-ending medication if at least two doctors agree with their prognosis and determine they are of sound mind.

City and State: Health care officials offer diagnoses for New York’s funding challenges

City and State, 2/27

Thanks to a flu season that’s one of the worst in recent memory, it has been a tough winter to stay healthy. Influenza hospitalizations are up and thousands have died. The flu vaccine has proven to be less effective than in years past, and public health experts say the disease may have yet to reach its peak. The spread of the virus is likely to continue for weeks.

It has also been a tough winter for New York policymakers and government officials who rely on Washington for funding. While congressional Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they’ve taken incremental steps to undermine the law, such as eliminating the individual mandate. The federal government has also reduced funding for safety net hospitals and for the ACA’s Basic Health Program, both of which play a major role in New York. Some Republicans in Washington still hope to scale back Medicaid and Medicare as well.

So we checked in with a few of New York’s top health care officials to hear their diagnosis of the situation – and how to remedy it.

RICHARD GOTTFRIED

Chairman, Assembly Health Committee

C&S: What are your health legislative priorities this year?