New York’s proposed Medical Aid in Dying Act got the endorsement from the Medical Society of the State of New York, state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, who sponsors the legislation in that chamber, announced Monday.

The act would allow terminally ill, mentally capable adults who have been given six months or less to live to take their own lives with a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs.

"[Medical Society of the State of New York] supports legislation such as the medical aid in dying act and supports physicians’ choice to opt-in or decline to engage in the processes and procedures as outlined in any proposed medical aid in dying legislation," the group said on their website.

Hoylman-Sigal called the organization's backing a key development the efforts to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act, which date back nearly a decade.

"Now, [the act] has been endorsed by both major physician organizations in New York State, MSSNY and the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. Clearly, a majority of doctors support medical aid in dying, and many palliative and hospice doctors want the ability to have this option for their patients who want it," Hoylman-Sigal said in a statement. "As the late Dr. Robert Milch, founder of Hospice Buffalo, said before he passed, ‘If medical aid in dying had been legal when I was practicing, it would have made me a better doctor.’

The bill has seen support from those facing terminal diagnoses, many of whom have shared stories to help push the bill. The measure has faced strong opposition from groups, especially people with disabilities who argue the law does not do enough to protect them from being pressured into the procedure.

Earlier this month, the bill was amended to add additional safeguards in the hope it can soon become law.


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