Contact: For Immediate Release
Mischa Sogut, (518) 455-4941 5/23/16
Statement by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried
“Today, the New York State Assembly Health Committee for the first time approved aid-in-dying legislation. A. 10059 (Paulin)/S. 7579 (Savino) would authorize terminally ill adult patients who have mental capacity to make health care decisions to request medication for self-administration for the purpose of ending his or her own life.
“This bill is about patient autonomy and dignity. Thanks to the work of advocates, health care practitioners, and my colleagues Assembly Members Amy Paulin and Linda Rosenthal and Senator Diane Savino, we have a bill that meets all the moral and legal standards we look to in reviewing legislation in the Health Committee. I am a co-sponsor of the bill.
“For well over a century, New York law has recognized that an adult patient who has capacity to make health care decisions has the right to refuse medical treatment. So for over a century, a patient who wants to cease life-sustaining treatment and receive pain management and palliative care – or no care – has had that right.
“Every New Yorker should have the fundamental right to choose or reject life-sustaining treatment, or medication that will enable them to end his or her pain and suffering.
“We must assure patients that they will have control over their end-of-life decisions, including access to appropriate pain management and palliative care. This critical patient autonomy should extend to the right to choose medically-assisted aid-in-dying.”