Friday, June 3, 2016

New York Press Release: "Bills Will Allow the 'Perfect Crime'"

FRIDAY  JUNE 2, 2016


Dore:  "New York's new assisted suicide bills, if enacted, will allow the perfect crime. They will encourage people with years to live to throw away their lives."

Contact: Margaret Dore (206) 697-1217

Albany, NY -- Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, which has fought assisted suicide legalization efforts in many states, including New York, made the following statement in connection with bills pending before the New York State Legislature:

“There are new bills seeking to legalize ‘medical aid in dying,’ which is a euphemism for assisted suicide,” said Dore. (A. 10059 and S. 7579)

“A central problem with the bills is that a person assisting a suicide can have his or her own agenda,” Dore said. “For example, if the person will financially benefit from the patient’s death due to an inheritance, he or she will have a motivation to be sure that the death goes through. This may or may not be consistent with the patient’s choice.”

“This central problem is exacerbated by bill provisions that strip away existing patient rights. Dore explained, “Under current New York State law, patients have a right to informed consent regarding treatment options. Under the proposed bills, patients instead have the right to an ‘informed decision,” which limits their right to information. More to the point, they have no right to be told about options for cure or to extend life.”

Dore said, “Another problem is that the bills allow someone else to speak for the patient during the lethal dose request process.” Dore elaborated, “There is no requirement that speaking person be the patient’s designated agent, for example, through a power of attorney. The person is merely required to be ‘familiar with the patient’s manner of communicating,’ for example, that the patient communicates with a stutter. This is obviously not a sufficient standard for a life and death decision.”

“No doctor, not even a witness, is required to be present at the death,” Dore said. “This creates the opportunity for someone else to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his or her consent. If the patient objected or even struggled, who would know?”

“The bills seek to legalize assisted suicide for people who are ‘terminal,’ which is defined as a doctor’s prediction of less than six months to live,” Dore said.  “In real life, such persons can have years, even decades, to live. This is due to actual mistakes: The doctor evaluated another patient’s test results. More typically, doctors are wrong because predicting life expectancy is not an exact science.”

“The bills require the death certificate to list a terminal illness as the cause of death.” said Dore. “The significance is a legal inability to prosecute, even in the case of an outright murder for the money. The cause of death is a terminal illness as a matter of law.”

Dore concluded, “New York's new assisted suicide bills, if enacted, will allow the perfect crime. They will encourage people with years to live to throw away their lives."

For more information, see:

1. Memo from Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA, to the New York State Legislature, May 31, 2016, at

2. Margaret Dore, “New York Assisted Suicide Bills: Patients Have No Right to Be Told of Options for Cure or to Extend Life.” June 3, 2016, available at

3.  Bill Highlights (one page handout)