This is a huge win for our movement. It is undeniable: people want the option of medical aid in dying as a part of comprehensive end-of-life care, and any questions based on fears and doubts about whether the Oregon model works have been asked & answered sufficiently. If you haven’t taken action here in New York yet, please add your name to our petition to NY lawmakers by clicking here: https://www.compassionandchoices.org/new…/new-york-campaign/
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/
May 14 update:
We achieved our goal on Lobby Day on May 10—getting the word out about the important medical aid in dying issue! If you visit the C&C New York FB page you can read all about the 100 meetings we held that day AND the new Medical Aid in Dying Act that was introduced at a press conference that morning. There are also links to press coverage and moving speeches that were given that day by a variety of supporters of this compassionate law.
Here is the full bill if you want to read it over:
We’ve learned that the bill will be considered in committee by our legislators very soon, so please make sure to reach out to your representative to let her or him know how and why you support this bill (see info on doing that at the bottom of this page/website).
Here is our original April 25 post on Spring Lobby Day:
This past January, Stacey and Laura along with 60+ other volunteer supporters gathered at the Albany state house to spend the day meeting with lawmakers to find out where they stand on the legislation authorizing medical aid in dying in New York and leaving them with packets of great background info. We were all novices, but the day was very well organized by Compassion & Choices and considered a big success, putting human faces on our important issue.
We want to have an even bigger show of support this May. Consider joining other Compassion & Choice supporters from around the state in Albany on Tuesday, May 10. If you want to have a real impact on this issue, this is a great way to do it!
Below is information (along with a “more info” link) about this important day from NYS Campaign Director Corinne Carey. If you plan to attend Lobby Day on May 10, please RSVP at the link below but also send a note to Stacey and Laura at email@example.com letting us know you’re interested, too.
* * *
March 29, 2016
As you know, our campaign to expand end-of-life options in the Empire State has been moving forward at full steam. We’ve recently held organizing events in Rochester, Albany, and Long Island, and we’re planning to make trips to Buffalo, Syracuse, and the Catskills within the month. And soon, we’ll hold our biggest event yet.
On May 10, Compassion & Choices supporters will gather for a lobby day in Albany. We’ll meet with legislators to tell them why New Yorkers feel so strongly about authorizing medical aid in dying. It’s an important opportunity to build support with face-to-face interactions and sharing personal stories.
WHAT: Compassion & Choices Spring Lobby Day in Albany
WHERE: NY State Capitol, State St. and Washington Ave, Albany, NY (meet on the 3rd floor outside the Senate chambers)
WHEN: Tuesday, May 10, at 11:00 a.m.
Our January lobby day was a huge success – more than 85 dedicated supporters registered, and with our bright yellow shirts, we were noticed by the press and throughout the Capitol by lawmakers and other advocates. Though we were well-received by lawmakers, we walked away knowing that we needed to provide more education to make sure legislators and their staffs are fully informed about medical aid in dying.
That’s why we need you to join us in Albany on May 10. Elected officials are eager to know where their constituents stand on medical aid in dying, and this is your chance to impact their decision making.
We will arrange visits with your Senator and Assemblymember, as well as other influential lawmakers, and provide training, materials and talking points in advance. Compassion & Choices yellow t-shirts will be available if you need one! If you need assistance with transportation or lodging, please let us know on the RSVP page.
Feel free to prepare your personal stories in advance of your visit. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for lawmakers to hear personal stories about why this issue means so much to all of us.
NY Campaign Director