NY's highest court rules against physician-assisted suicide
ALBANY, N.Y. (BP) – The New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, on Sept. 7 unanimously refused to legalize assisted suicide, a huge moment in the state's fight over the practice. Assisted suicide is the practice, distinguished from a patient refusing medical care, where a doctor prescribes lethal drugs that a patient then self-administers at a time of his or her choosing. In New York, assisting in a suicide is a felony.
In its 5-0 ruling the New York court cited the "long-standing" state interests in banning assisted suicide: "prohibiting intentional killing and preserving life; preventing suicide; maintaining physicians' role as their patients' healers; protecting vulnerable people from indifference, prejudice, psychological and financial pressure to end their lives; and avoiding a possible slide towards euthanasia."
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