We’ve all heard the “just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right” wisdom. Seems another state wants in on the physician-assisted-suicide act. Apropos is the New York State Assembly, who is moving closer to passing a “medical aid in dying act,” with the recent vote on bill A10059, by the Assembly Health Committee.
The bill was approved by an overwhelming majority, with the committee Chair, Richard N. Gottfried stating, “Every New Yorker should have the fundamental right to choose or reject life-sustaining treatment, or medication that will enable them to end his or her pain and suffering. We must assure patients that they will have control over their end-of-life decision, including access to appropriate pain management and palliative care. This critical patient autonomy should extend to the right to choose medically-assisted aid-in-dying.”
Of course, people with the capacity to understand can refuse treatment. We agree, people should have control over their end-of-life decisions. The bright-line we should not cross is codifying doctors to break their oath to do no harm. Killing your patient certainly must still count as a harm.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.