‘Kind of scary’: Controversial medical procedure may soon be legal in another blue state

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).An 85-year-old former doctor turned himself in to face manslaughter charges in upstate New York in February after police and medical personnel determined he had traveled to New York from Arizona to help a woman commit suicide. Several New York lawmakers are now rallying behind individuals like Stephen Miller, the former doctor, to make sure people like him will not land in jail in the future for participating in assisted suicide.Legislation pending in the New York assembly and state senate called Medical Aid in Dying would give terminally ill people the option to choose the time of their death. The long-time sponsor of the bill thinks she is very close to getting the legislation passed.VIRGINIA PAVES THE WAY FOR MARIJUANA SALES, ASSISTED SUICIDE AS ASSEMBLY DEADLINE LOOMS”I am so hopeful,” New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin told Fox News Digital. “We’re very, very close. I’d say an excellent chance of passing, but not 100%.”MINNESOTA LAWMAKERS INITIATE DEBATE ON PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE BILLPaulin, a Democrat, has championed the bill since 2015. Just one year after she proposed the Medical Aid in Dying Act, her family learned a sister’s previous cancer diagnosis had returned.”At the end, the pain was so severe that she only had the choice of taking such severe meds that essentially put her to sleep or staying up talking to us, which was her preference,” Paulin said.”Every few minutes when she wasn’t taking the meds that would knock her out, she’d be screaming, ‘When am I gonna die already?’” The assemblywoman concedes that since assisted suicide was not an option for her sister, she never discussed with her whether she would like to pursue that option.Multiple polls have shown New Yorkers support Medical Aid in Dying by a 2-1 margin, but there are some policy experts who have concerns.CALIFORNIA SENATOR PUSHES ‘DEATH ON DEMAND’ ASSISTED SUICIDE MEASUREAlex Thompson, the advocacy director for the New York Association on Independent Living, said people with disabilities already face difficulties getting the care they need, prompting him to raise concerns about assisted suicide.”There are a lot of concerns from our community, especially about access to medical care, insurance denial, all of the things that people with disabilities regularly experience,” Thompson told Fox News Digital. “It’s kind of scary that, you know, you’re not able to get access to treatment that you could be referred to assisted suicide.” Thompson also voiced concerns that once the laws are on the books, whatever protections were in the original legislation could then be expanded upon.”There is always a path to expansion. When they frame it in New York, and I hear advocates of the bill in New York say that it’s very limited, and it has all these protections.” Thompson said. He cited two lawsuits in New Jersey and Vermont he says seek to expand those states’ original conditions for assisted suicide. Both of those lawsuits are demanding assisted suicide in those states not be limited to just their residents.”There are a lot of concerns about [how] that’s probably what they’re going to do in New York,” Thompson said.TOP MASSACHUSETTS COURT RULES AGAINST OVERTURNING LAW PROHIBITING PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDEAssisted suicide laws have been on the books in Canada since 2016. Last year, Canadian lawmakers began considering whether a mental illness diagnosis could be a sole qualifier for people to seek assisted suicide. The New York Post reported this month that a 29-year-old, physically healthy Dutch woman has been granted the right to assisted suicide due to her mental illness that includes chronic depression, anxiety, trauma, borderline personality disorder and autism.Assemblywoman Paulin assures that these types of diagnoses will not be sufficient for approval to utilize  Medical Aid in Dying in New York. “We have the strongest protections in the New York bill of any state and that would not be considered eligible,” she said. “The bill requires you to be essentially dying within six months. And that has to be attested to by your physician and then a second physician. So, two doctors have to sign off.”There are 10 states in the U.S. where assisted suicide is legal: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Washington, D.C. also authorized it.
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