New York Court Says “Aid-in-Dying” is Suicide
Proponents of “aid-in-dying” say it’s not assisted suicide. Again and again, they assert that the act of prescribing medicine with the intent to end a human life is not assisting in suicide. But then there are moments when common sense wins, truth overwhelms the narrative, and legalized assisted suicide is exposed for what it is: suicide. Thankfully, one of these moments happened recently in New York’s Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department.
The plaintiffs in Myers v Schneiderman, 2016 NY Slip Op 03457, sought declarations that New York’s assisted suicide ban was unconstitutional (per the State Constitution) and that state Penal Law assisted suicide prohibitions did not apply to “aid-in-dying.”
The court ruled against the plaintiffs on both issues and concluded that “aid-in-dying” is indeed suicide. As Justice Angela Mazzarelli noted in the decision,
The word “suicide” has a straightforward meaning … It is traditionally defined as “the act or instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally,” especially “by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary [11th ed 2003]). Whatever label one puts on the act that plaintiffs are asking us to permit, it unquestionably fits that literal description, since there is a direct causative link between the medication proposed to be administered by plaintiff physicians and their patients’ demise.
The New York court landed on the rational answer: “aid-in-dying” is suicide.
This victory is good news for opponents of legalized assisted suicide, but judiciaries may not always favor our position. Therefore, in the District of Columbia, where folks are branding suicide as “death with dignity” or “aid-in-dying,” it’s important to not leave the decision-making to the courts. We must continue to educate our communities on the dangers of legalized assisted suicide.
To help advocate and educate on behalf of the truth, get the facts on B21-0038, the Death with Dignity Act of 2015, here. Also, continue to stay informed by following No DC Suicide on Twitter and liking No DC Suicide on Facebook. You can also send individual councilmembers notes of opposition, here.
As always, thank you for your support.