New York State Bar Association Launches Task Force To Study Legal Issues Surrounding Medical Aid in Dying
The New York State Bar Association is launching a task force to make recommendations about the legal, ethical, public health and policy considerations involved in helping people make end of life decisions.
“These sensitive issues can present a minefield for many families during the most difficult time in their lives,” said New York State Bar Association President Richard Lewis. “Having clear-cut laws that support a person in serious illness and at the end of life will help guide them in thinking through decisions about their health care.”
The task force will be reviewing the most recent iteration of the Medical Aid in Dying bill in New York and weighing the legal, ethical, health, public health and scientific evidence. Should the bill become law in New York, the task force will also research issues related to challenges in implementation of the law, including how to make sure a person who may choose to die is free from coercion either through the influence or control of a caregiver, family member or anyone else or through social coercion.
Members of the task force will gather public health data, speak to experts and examine how other states and countries deal with policies surrounding medical aid in dying. The task force will evaluate the impact on families, healthcare providers, nursing homes and correctional facilities.
Mary Beth Quaranta Morrissey, a health care attorney, gerontological researcher, associate professor and director of the PhD Program at the Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work, will chair the task force.
Task force members include:
- Heather Butts, assistant professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
- John Dow, assistant counsel, Trinity Health, Albany
- Cynthia Feathers, director of quality enhancement for appellate and post-conviction representation, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services
- Amanda Giannone, partner, Levene Gouldin & Thompson, Vestal
- Judith Grimaldi, founding partner, Grimaldi Young Law Group, New York City
- Thomas Maroney, founding partner, Maroney O’Connor, New York City
- Edward McArdle, professor of bioethics & law, SUNY Upstate & Cornell Law School, Manlius
- Violet Samuels, of the firm Samuels and Associates, Queens
- Susan B. Somers, president, International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Nassau
- Kathleen Sweet, partner, Gibson McAskill & Crosby, Buffalo
- Mark Ustin, partner, Farrell, Fritz, Albany