Proposed legislation gives terminally ill the right to die

Local News

A group of Western New Yorkers including members of the Diocese of Buffalo boarded a bus early this morning on a mission to get their point across in Albany.

“We’re trying to inform society about the options that don’t include ending someone’s life early,” said  Dr. Stanley Bukowski. 

They’re against proposed assisted suicide legislation that would give terminally ill people the right to ask their doctor for life-ending medication.

“Rather than be a death with dignity sort of bill this really violates peoples dignity because there’s not quite enough protections for people who may be depressed who may be in a situation where they’re not thinking straight enough,” said Deacon Don Weigel, Diocese of Buffalo. 

The proposal now before lawmakers would require two doctors to sign off on the life-ending medication.
In other states like California, Oregon and Washington D.C this is already legal. Some Western New Yorkers believe it should be in New York state as well.

“It’s a person’s right if they want to end their life with dignity and avoid terrible pain and suffering both for them and their families, I think they should have the right to do that,” said Sara Schultz of Williamsville. 

Others argue there’s other ways to deal with pain.

“There’s actually very good pain control available. And if you look at the statistics from Oregon it’s really not about pain. It’s more about feeling like they’re in control, being afraid of the future, not wanting to suffer in anyway,” said Dr. Bukowski.

“Many people don’t realize the slippery slope that the other states who have already passed this have found to be,” said Cheryl Calire, Diocese of Buffalo Director of Pro-life and Public Policy Liaison.  

The legislation has been proposed here in New York state for years but has yet to receive a vote in the legislature.

A second hearing is planned for May 3rd in New York City.

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