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A Big Win in New York

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We got a big win this month following a much awaited decision from the New York Court of Appeals. The State’s highest court voted unanimously to reject a lawsuit that claimed terminally ill patients have the right to access lethal drugs.

The opinion by the judge stressed one of the major points Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide has consistently made in our opposition arguments against the dangerous practice. They stated that New York had legitimate reasons for outlawing the practice, including to protect vulnerable patients from pressure to end their lives.

This is a key point! Our coalition continues to make the important point that PAS would be incredibly dangerous for our most vulnerable populations. The legislation that has been filed session after session in Maryland and around the country has no protections for the elderly or people with disabilities – many of whom already feel like a burden on their loved ones and caretakers. These are the people who can be easily coerced into taking a lethal drug to end their life and these are the ones we must protect.

The New York lawsuit was filed by three residents of New York, but it was backed by Compassion and Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society, a national organization looking at any means necessary in order to legalize this dangerous practice.  . Before the case made its way to the Court of Appeals, Compassion and Choices lost their case in a trial-level court and a mid-level appeals court.

The outcome of this case is good news as we work to defeat PAS here in Maryland. We know that we once again will face this battle during the 2018 legislative session, but this is a big win and will provide some great momentum for our coalition. 

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