ALBANY, NY (WENY) — Tuesday, advocates rallied inside the state capitol building to push for a bill that would legalize medical aid in death in New York State. The bill has been stalled in legislative session for almost a decade.
And for some advocates this fight is personal.
Stacey Gibson, a 71 year-old resident and medical aid in dying advocate, watched her husband suffer–losing his ability to walk, to control his bladder and bowels, and swallow food or drink, over the course of eight years after he was diagnosed with a neurological disease.
And she now faces her third diagnosis of cancer–Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She said she wants to have the option to end her life peacefully, a choice she wishes was available to her husband.
“I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and I need to know that should I face suffering that I find to be unacceptable and intolerable, I want to be able to have a choice as to how I end my life,” she said.
Gibson said having the choice to end her life through medical aid is body autonomy. A choice she said she wants for herself and for others.
And some lawmakers agree. State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-47th Senate District) highlighted that there are ten other states and the District of Columbia that have passed legislation like this. He said New York should grow this number and pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act this session.
“Medical aid in dying is really about peace of mind, it’s having that assurance at the end of your life, no matter when that might be that you do have options,” he said.
Hoylman-Sigal will be carrying this bill this session. He said he is confident that this will finally be the year that it gets passed.