What can you do? Here’s a top priority

One of Compassion & Choices’ top priorities in New York is to let our legislators know that there are voters in their districts to whom this issue really matters. If we stay quiet, it’s easier for them to think that nobody really cares and ignore the legislation that’s being worked on and presented by the bill’s sponsors.

So if you have a moment, please follow these links to find out who your state senator or assemblyperson is and drop her or him a line about your support for medical aid in dying.

Find my State Senator

Find my State Assembly Member

Looking for a short cut? This letter, composed by Compassion & Choices is already pre-written for you.

Subject line: Please support medical aid in dying

I am writing to ask you to sponsor legislation that makes the medical practice of aid in dying accessible for the people of our state. It is good law and responsible policy with a documented record of safety.

I am one of the 100 million Americans who followed Brittany Maynard, just 29 years old, and her courageous journey to death with dignity in Oregon. Now I am answering her call to action to join a nationwide movement that will make death with dignity an accessible healthcare choice for terminally ill Americans.  She said it was unethical that most of us don’t have that option, and I agree.

Like 70 percent of people in this country, I believe that our rights and freedoms are ours to exercise until we take our last breath, and having a terminal illness doesn’t change that. I am calling on you as my elected representative to guarantee those rights for me.

You have the opportunity and the responsibility to give this freedom to your constituents. The record shows that in states where it is an authorized medical practice, aid in dying works as intended, and is not subject to abuse. It also provides great peace of mind to terminally ill adults as they approach life’s end.

Brittany Maynard demonstrated that people who want death with dignity would rather live and are not suicidal. She was busy living fully until the very end. Brittany chose to access Oregon’s 17-year old death-with-dignity law and her extended family supported her decision to avoid the cruel and drawn out dying process her cancer would bring.

Aid in dying is not a choice of death over life. It is an option for those who are dying that spares them unbearable suffering and offers a controlled and peaceful ending. All dying people deserve that option, and the tremendous peace of mind that comes with it.

Thanks for your time.

(Electronic version of this letter at http://www.compassionandchoices.org/take-action/urge-your-legislators-support-medical-aid-in-dying/