Opening Salvo on New York’s 2018 Assisted Suicide Bill

Disability activists from the Albany area donned bright pink Not Dead Yet t-shirts, carrying leaflets and signs to voice strong opposition to legalization of assisted suicide at a press conference held by proponents of this year’s bill.

Image description: Blond woman with glasses holds sign saying “Assisted Suicide = Deadly Discrimination” with a skull drawn below the words.

Image description: Two men wear bright pink t-shirts, with the words “Not Dead Yet” visible on one man, who is using crutches. The other man holds a sign which says “Assisted Suicide World’s Cheapest Healthcare”.

Local television news covered the press conference and protest, and included brief interviews with Kathryn Carroll (pictured above) and Gregg Beratan, who are from the Center for Disability Rights (CDR), in the news video. CDR’s policy position on the issue is here.

The Staten Island Advance also covered the story in Should terminally ill in N.Y. have access to aid in dying? The coverage included some key issues of concern:

Diane Coleman, president and CEO of Not Dead Yet, an advocacy organization in Rochester, cited several issues with the legislation.

Coleman said that obstacles in obtaining quality health care could lead individuals to opt for aid in death.

“There are a lot of issues getting quality care,” she said. “It gives them an easy way out.”

“That’s just reality,” she continued. “That our insurance companies are going to do the cheap thing over the right thing.”

Coleman also cited a lack of oversight after a prescription is given to a patient as one of the many issues with the bill, arguing that they can be coerced into opting for aid in dying. 

“The bills themselves do not include any type of independent witnesses at the time of ingestion,” Coleman told the Advance. “There’s no way to know.”

On the same day, the New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide issued a press release launching the Alliance’s new website, noting that it “that will enhance its ability to work against the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in the Empire State.” Not Dead Yet and the Center for Disability Rights are part of the NY Alliance. As CDR’s Director of Advocacy Stephanie Woodward said in the release:

The new website, NoSuicideNY.org, offers readers the latest news on the physician-assisted suicide debate in Albany; talking points to equip allies for effective advocacy; and video testimonials from terminally-ill persons, disabled people, and others whose life experiences have led them to speak out against doctor-assisted death. Significantly, the website also includes an action alert that allows New Yorkers to e-mail their legislators about this important issue.

2 thoughts on “Opening Salvo on New York’s 2018 Assisted Suicide Bill

  1. Unfortunately, PAS, euthanasia, is the cheapest solution for the Insurance Companies and the Hospitals to ensure their profits when Medicare and Medcaid and the Medicare Advantage organizations deny curative care and HOSPICE is the only and cheapest alternative. The Medicare Advantage Organizations appear to offer more coverage but this is because they don’t offer Hospice Care in their policies. Patients have to return to original Medicare to qualify for Hospice.

    Hospice may still be “elective” under Medicare law but there have been government trials to change this to a program wherein the patient can be on both Hospice and Medicare curative care at the same time. The result, of course, if this becomes law, is that patients will be forced onto Hospice because their insurance won’t pay for any more curative care.

    It’s always about the money!

    The primary goal of Hospice is to keep elderly/disabled patients out of expensive hospital settings and save costs in end-of-life care for the profit-making entities. .

    Hospice was invented to permit the elderly/disabled on government programs to ELECT to die out of the hospital. in their own homes, on their own dime so as to stop them from dying in expensive ICU and CCU care in their local hospitals.

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