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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.

Another large group came to attend the hearing that says death should never be a treatment and that the line could eventually be blurred to include people with dementia or disabilities.

“If you are healing people and treating them to get better how can you turn around and say well now I’m going to help you die,” Dr. Stanley Bukowski said.

The bill that is in the legislature now, has very specific guidelines. A person is only eligible if they are terminally ill with six months or less to live. They must be of sound enough mind to make their own decisions and at least two doctors have to sign off on the prescription.

“I have a grandson who is on the spectrum. If I didn’t think that this bill protected him I wouldn’t be supporting it,” Duprey said.

The group against assisted suicide says that more money should be spent on palliative care and that even dying, people still have something to offer.

“Even just letting them take care of you is a great gift to them. They will always remember that. They will always feel that they did something for mom, they did something for dad in the last days. That’s a beautiful thing,” Dr. Bukowski said.