Compassion & Choices is building momentum through the state to push for the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act (see the NY Bill Summary).
What’s Happening Now!
- Rally and press conference. New York State Academy of Family Physicians President Heather Paladine, MD, joined legislators, advocates and others in healthcare for a rally and press conference to help push the Medical Aid in Dying Act over the finish line before session ends.
- Lobby day and rally. Supporters gathered at the state capitol on Tuesday, May 30 to demand action from state lawmakers.
- Bills amended. The Medical Aid in Dying Act was amended on May 25 in both the Assembly and the Senate. The amendments do not alter the core safeguards of the bill: to qualify, one must be determined by two doctors to be a terminally ill, mentally capable adult who requests the medication themselves and they must be able to self-ingest the medication.
- March at the Capitol. More than 60 supporters participated in a March to End Needless Suffering at the New York State Capitol Complex.
- In the Press. Two important pieces were published in the Albany Times Union and Syracuse.com supporting the Medical Aid in Dying Act.
- Albany lobby days. Lobby days were held in Albany throughout March.
- Bill reintroduced for 2023. On January 12, the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act (A.995) was reintroduced by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin with 50 cosponsors.
- Virtual lobby day. Compassion & Choices kicked off our 2023 campaign with a press conference and virtual lobby day on January 17.
- Dr. Robert Milch (1943–2021). On June 11, we released a video featuring internationally acclaimed surgeon and co-founder of Hospice Buffalo, Dr. Robert Milch, who died of terminal cancer on June 4. Dr. Milch urged New York lawmakers
to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act for years before his cancer diagnosis.
- Campaign Debrief. On June 11, Compassion & Choices’ senior and national campaign staff, registered lobbyists, media consultants, and supporters from across the Empire State met online for a debrief on the status of the bill, the progress we made this year, and our plans for the 2022 session.
- On May 13, the New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP) released a statement of support for the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act.
- On May 11, we premiered our third TV ad featuring Monona Yin.
- Bill reintroduced in the Senate. On April 30, the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act was reintroduced in the Senate (S.6471) by Senator Diane Savino.
- On April 19, we premiered our second TV ad featuring storyteller Scott Barraco.
- On April 29 we co-hosted “Life, Death, and Compassion: A Conversation about Medical Aid in Dying in New York” with Union Theological Seminary and SAGE
- On Wednesday, April 14, hundreds of advocates met for a virtual rally urging lawmakers to pass the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act without delay. You can watch the recording of the event below.
- On Tuesday, March 23, Senior Campaign Director Corinne Carey and Campaign Manager Amanda Cavanaugh hosted a screening of the documentary “Bob’s Choice: Why a Seattle Man Chose Death With Dignity” and facilitated a question and answer session.
- “Living Your Death” with Martha Calihan, M.D. A practicing physician for over 30 years, Dr. Martha Calihan has helped many patients and families through the process of preparing to say good-bye to a loved one, but when it came time to do it for her husband, it felt very different. In her memoir, A Death Lived, Dr. Calihan takes us on the journey of her husband’s final illness and death, and how they, as a family, navigated this most difficult of challenges. Join Martha and Life Coach Alyssa Rocco for an in-depth interactive workshop to explore the process of death: how to think about it, plan for it, and talk about it. Compassion & Choices will be providing resources and information about resources during this event.
- Honoring and Remembering Love. On February 16, joined with supporters and storytellers together virtually remembering and honoring those whom they have loved and lost. View the event recording here.
- Bill reintroduced in the Assembly. The New York Medical Aid in Dying Act was reintroduced in the Assembly on February 1, bill number A4321 Sponsored by Asmb. Amy Paulin
- Returning to session with “60 reasons” to pass medical aid in dying. Our campaign highlighting the stories of advocates urging lawmakers to pass the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act resumed following 2020’s legislative pause, now with 60 stories. Read them here (new stories will be posted each week on days when the legislature is scheduled to be in session).
- Partnering to focus on end-of-life care disparities. On Thursday, January 21, we partnered with Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman for a webinar featuring an expert panel discussing disparities in end-of-life care.
- Launching our 2021 campaign! While we are unable to meet in person, hundreds of supporters joined us for the virtual launch of our 2021 campaign to pass the New York Medical Aid in Dying Act. Hosted by Senior Campaign Director Corinne Carey and Campaign Manager Amanda Cavanaugh, we were joined by Medical Aid in Dying Act sponsors Assemblymember Amy Paulin and Senator Diane Savino, co-sponsor Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest, advocate and storyteller Gene Hughes, State & Broadway Founding Partner Jacqueline Williams, and Compassion & Choices President and CEO Kim Callinan. Let’s make 2021 the year we #stopthesuffering and bring this compassionate option to the Empire State!
- Airing our first-ever TV commercial. In conjunction with our January 25 kickoff event, we debuted a new 30-second television ad featuring two New Yorkers, Dr. Jeff Gardere and Jennifer Milich, a terminally ill Buffalo resident.