Last week my husband and I had the heartbreaking experience of putting our little dog to sleep who had been suffering from heart failure. While I describe the experience as heartbreaking, we shared the idea that we “may” treat their pets with mercy. We didn’t want Lulu to suffer and we were able to help her die peacefully.
At this time, in New York State, we do not have the ability to help people who are terminally ill and dying in great pain. No, you and I must continue until the last organ/system fails. Hospice or palliative care can relieve some of the pain, but sometimes adequate relief of suffering is not possible.
Other states and many other countries allow compassionate care for the sick and dying. New York State now has the opportunity to grant its citizens the same privilege by passing the Medical Assistance in Dying Act. Medical euthanasia enables a terminally ill person who is capable of discernment and within six months of death to receive a doctor’s prescription for medication that they can take if their pain is no longer bearable and they wish to end their suffering peacefully.
We must now demand that our legislators and our Gov. Kathy Hochul pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act to grant New Yorkers this fundamental right.
Don’t we want the same consideration and grace that we give to our pets?