Barbara Lyons of Patients Rights Action Fund updates us on the latest victories, news, and challenges facing us on assisted suicide legalization.
- On May 3, the New York Court of Appeals upheld New York law prohibiting assisted suicide, finding that there is no “right” to “aid-in-dying” in the State or US constitutions. Proponents are expected to appeal. Many thanks to the organizations who submitted briefs. Read the decision HERE.
- On May 11, the New Hampshire House defeated a measure establishing a “study” commission for end-of-life issues by a vote of 174-123. The measure had passed in the Senate and in a House committee. While not directly related to legalization of assisted suicide, these commissions are generally stacked with proponents of assisted suicide. Thanks to Nancy Elliott and her colleagues for working to achieve this victory.
- Missouri and Kansas are the next states to have their assisted suicide bills declared dead as their legislative sessions end. (The Massachusetts bill is still pending and has been extended to June 30.)
- The Luke’s Story video promoted by the Patients Rights Action Fund has received over 500,000 viewings on Facebook and YouTube and generated considerable comments, some of them motivated by Compassion and Choices. You are encouraged to Like the PRAF Facebook page.
- JJ Hanson, the President of the Patients Rights Action Fund who recently spoke at the MCFL 2016 Mother’s Day Banquet, did interviews and editorial board meetings in Nebraska recently and will be meeting with Council members in the District of Columbia.
- On a not-so-positive note, New York proponents of assisted suicide have merged bills and announced they believe they can pass legislation within the next two years. The merged bill can be found here.
The New York Alliance Against Assisted Suicide has been doing outstanding work to make certain this does not happen. On May 4, 20 doctors in opposition held a Doctors’ Advocacy Day, visiting legislators and holding a new conference. In support of this effort, members of disability rights groups were also present. The New York Alliance has an excellent Facebook page and I encourage you to Like its page.
- And in New Jersey, two sisters with serious illnesses have emerged as Compassion and Choices advocates to pass the New Jersey assisted suicide bill.