Last November, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took commendable action to confront an uncomfortable topic and a horrific reality: Suicide, he said, had become a statewide public health crisis. Calling the state’s sudden spike in suicides “unacceptable” (New York now ranks 5th in the nation), he said that awareness and prevention is a top priority for the state.
So imagine my confusion when I heard that the New York Assembly was taking up a bill that would increase the number of suicides in the state (by more than 6 percent, according to Southern Medical Journal) and leave the elderly — whom the governor recognized as a high-risk group — in particular danger.
The bill legalizes assisted suicide — that is, it protects doctors who write prescriptions for lethal poisons — under the guise of supposed compassion. The reality is, it is anything but. And calling it “Medical Aid-in-Dying” does not change that.