On October 5, supporters of medical aid in dying with Compassion & Choices New York delivered 11 boxes of petition signatures to Governor Andrew Cuomo at the state capitol in Albany. The petition signatures were gathered at the New York State Fair from August 23-September 4. Three members of the Adirondack Unitarian Universalist Community were among those presenting the petitions along with members of the NY UU Network for Medical Aid in Dying from the Albany and Schenectady congregations. Joan Kelly, Nancy Murphy and Phyllis Magnus helped present the 7,500 signatures which they, along with Carolyn Alexander, had also helped collect at the fair. AUUC is an Organizational Sponsor of this legislation which would permit a mentally capable, terminally ill individual with a prognosis of six months or less to live the option of requesting life ending medication when suffering becomes unbearable.
Medical Aid-in-Dying is an end-of-life medical practice in which a mentally capable, terminally ill adult with less than six months to live may request medication from her or his doctor for self-administration to bring about a peaceful death if her or his suffering becomes unbearable. According to data from the Oregon Health Authority, which publishes annual reports on its first-in-the-nation aid-in-dying law, approximately one third of patients who qualify and receive a prescription never consume the medication.