I will be hosting a Feb. 4 panel discussion at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club on aid in dying. David Leven, the executive director of End of Life Choices, Dr. Howard Grossman, the chairman of Physicians for Compassionate Care, Rabbi Emily Korzenik, the spiritual leader of the Fellowship for Jewish Learning, and Eric Seiff, a terminally ill patient, will be on the panel. Linda Leavitt, the former editor of The Scarsdale Inquirer, will serve as moderator.
I authored A.5261-B/S.5814, a bill which allows a terminally ill, mentally competent adult to request life-ending medication should he/she choose to end their own life in a dignified manner. A recent poll by EaglePoint Strategies reported that three out of four New York voters support access to aid in dying for terminally ill adults.
Eighty-eight percent of those polled agreed that if they are terminally ill, the decision about whether or not to use medication to choose the time of their death should be a decision made between the patient and their families under a physician’s care. In addition, 87 percent of those polled agreed that the government had no right to make decisions about medical care if a person is dying from a terminal illness. The clear majorities observed extended across party lines, religious affiliations, levels of education, gender, age and region.
The thought of having to suffer through a horrific, painful, degrading death, and one that brings added stress and agony to my loves ones, is inconceivable to me. A majority of New Yorkers have made clear that they do not want limits imposed on their options of what they can and can’t do when they are terminally ill. If I am terminally ill, I should be able to choose to end my life calmly, peacefully and in a dignified way, at a time and in a setting I choose where I am surrounded by those I love. That is what my bill is about.
The Scarsdale Woman’s Club is located at 37 Drake Road in Scarsdale. The public can go to http://bit.ly/aidindyingtalk to register for the event.