On January 19, 2024, the New York State Bar Association (New York’s professional organization for attorneys) voted to support the passage of assisted suicide legislation (Bill S.2445-A-Hoylman-Sigal/A.995-A-Paulin).
The Bar Association’s action was not a surprise. Last year, a task force created by the Bar Association issued a report that recommended the legalization of assisted suicide for the terminally ill. According to Bar Association President Richard Lewis, “‘The Task Force on Medical Aid in Dying has worked tirelessly on this issue and produced recommendations that safeguard our most vulnerable populations.’” At New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation (NYFRF), we are at a loss as to how anyone could possibly believe that helping people take their own lives “safeguards” anyone.
According to State of Politics, Asm. Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale), the Assembly sponsor of the assisted suicide bill, has called for the bill to become law this year. Thankfully, the bill is opposed by the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide, the New York State Catholic Conference, the Center for Disability Rights (CDR), and NYFRF’s affiliate organization, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. CDR Government Affairs Manager Max Rodriguez told State of Politics that the bill’s opponents assert that states which have passed similar bills “have not adequately tracked abuse,” that “inequities in health care” could affect people’s decisions about assisted suicide, that “doctors often underestimate the quality of life of people with disabilities,” and that physicians’ prognoses about patients’ life expectancies can be incorrect.