Doctors Say “Kill the Pain, Not the Patient”

Albany, NY—Dozens of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals from across the state are at the State Capitol today to make the medical case against legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

“Today we will meet with our elected representatives to explain the adverse impacts that a policy of doctor-assisted suicide would have on our patients, and on the medical profession,” said Dr. John O’Brien, a family practitioner from central New York. “We do not believe that physicians can logically, medically or ethically treat one patient while assisting another to commit suicide,” he stated.

“No one should have to spend their final days in torment,” said Dr. Mary-Ellen Edmiston, a palliative care specialist from Syracuse. “It is the physician’s duty to his or her patients to use the most effective tools available to relieve suffering, and modern medicine can provide very effective symptom relief with high quality hospice care,” she said.

Addressing the pending legislation, S.3947/A.2694, Dr. Matthew Lynch, a neurologist from Amsterdam, stated, “This bill contains many fatal flaws. It is not a last resort. The proposed law does not require a person to be referred for palliative medicine. It does not even require a person to be suffering. There is no way to know for sure if the person is depressed at the time he or she takes the poison. Moreover, prescribers of medical marijuana and opioids are required by law to receive training, but this bill does not require any training for prescribers of suicide pills.”  

“This bill is dangerous for all New Yorkers, and doctor-assisted suicide is especially dangerous for those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, isolated, elderly, and living with disabilities, persons who are already marginalized and discriminated against in our health care system,” stated Dr. Gregory Weston, an infectious disease specialist who practices in New York City.

Both the Medical Society of the State of NY and the American Medical Association stand in opposition to physician-assisted suicide.

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