Assisted suicide legislation is bad medicine for New Yorkers
Several bills have been introduced in New York State that would fundamentally alter the doctor-patient relationship by authorizing physician-assisted suicide for individuals declared by a doctor to be terminally ill. Like similar bills that have passed in several other states, New York’s bills lack important safeguards, making coercion or misapplication of the law a serious threat. Furthermore, they send a dangerous message to society that when someone is considered a “burden” to someone else, his or her life is no longer worth living. While New York rightly spends millions of dollars a year to combat suicide, it is considering undermining these efforts significantly by declaring that oftentimes, suicide is “death with dignity.” The not-so-subtle implication is that those who choose to fight for their lives or to simply allow themselves to die a natural death are somehow undignified.
The New York State Catholic Conference has joined other opponents as part of the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide, made up of patients-rights, disabilities-rights advocates, health care, civil rights and faith-based advocacy organizations. Together we support increased access to palliative care (comfort care) and a rejection of the dangerous national movement toward physician assisted suicide.
Below are some resources with which you can help us in our advocacy.
- Action Alert — Contact Your Elected Officials
- Flyer/Bulletin Insert
- Issue in Brief printable PDF
- Fatal Flaws in Assisted Suicide Legislation Fact Sheet
- Legislative Memo of Opposition
- Interview with Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
- Op/Ed by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany
- Statement by Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Rochester
- Video by Bishop Richard R. Malone of Buffalo
- “Man of Steel” Video of James “JJ” Hanson, Brain Cancer Patient and Assisted Suicide Opponent
- “Deadly Drugs” blog post by Kathleen M. Gallagher
- Assisted suicide “safeguards” revealed as con” blog post by Kathleen Gallagher
- “The effect of legalizing assisted suicide on palliative care and suicide rates” article by Richard Doerflinger
- New Yorkers for Life flyer