It is not surprising that a majority of New York doctors support the Medical Aid in Dying Act, as discussed in “State’s physicians support aid in dying,” Jan. 29.
The survey, conducted by WebMD through its Medscape platform, found that 56 percent of 601 doctors in the state support the practice and that 26 percent do not. An additional 19 percent indicated they were neutral on the topic. The survey is consistent with a 2018 poll of New York voters that similarly showed that medical aid in dying is supported by more than a 2 to 1 margin, 63 percent to 29 percent, including majorities of virtually all demographic groups, Democrats and Republicans, Protestants and Catholics, Caucasians and people of color, and upstate, New York City and suburban voters.
Dying patients who are suffering terribly should have the option of taking prescribed medicines to achieve a peaceful death. Over 50 years of cumulative evidence in states where medical aid in dying is legal has shown that it is an ethical, safe and humane medical practice that benefits patients and causes no harm.
New York should enact the Medical Aid in Dying Act this year.
David C. Leven
New York City
Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Consultant, End of Life Choices New York