Lawsuit Against New York State Could Legalize Aid in Dying
A lawsuit against New York state seeks to allow doctors to assist terminally ill patients end their lives.
A group of terminally ill patients and doctors have filed a lawsuit against New York state in the hopes of legalizing what they call aid in dying.
Currently, advocates say it's unclear whether New York's Assisted Suicide Statute criminalizes doctors assisting mentally competent, terminally ill patients end their lives.
Sara Myers has been battling ALS for the past four years. She says eventually only machines and feeding tubes will be able to keep her alive.
"Just as important to me as the choices to prolong my life with this disgusting disease is the right to choose how to die with it," Myers said.
Opponents say the practice could discourage people from seeking more appropriate care. But Kathryn Tucker, a lawyer for aid in dying rights, says only a small group of patients actually obtain the end of life medicine. And she says about one-third of them end up opting not to take it.
"But they feel enormously comforted to know they have that choice if their dying process becomes unbearable," Tucker said.
If the lawsuit is successful, New York will become the sixth state in the nation to legalize aid in dying, joining Vermont, Oregon, New Mexico, Montana and Washington State.