Court ruling doesn't allow doctor-assisted suicides in New York State


*Mentally competent, terminally ill patients have a right to refuse medical treatment in New York State — but doctors do not have the right to help them die, the Appellate Division in Manhattan ruled Tuesday.

The panel of four women judges upheld a ruling by Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney who said she was sympathetic to the plight of the dying plaintiffs but state laws that outlaw assisted suicides are not a violation of their civil rights.

The plaintiffs included desperately ill patients (one of whom has since died) and doctors fearful of losing their licenses and being prosecuted criminally if they helped their dying patients to end it faster.

They argued that other states — and Canada — have changed their laws to permit assisted suicides and public opinion has changed since the state last visited the issue 30 years ago.

In an opinion written by Judge Angela Mazzarelli, the panel said the plaintiffs had “a heavy burden” of proof when they argued that New York laws which give people the right to refuse medical treatment also give them the right to ask a doctor to help them die. The judges said they failed to meet that burden.

Edwin Schallert, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said his clients are “very disappointed” that lower court and the appellate division ruled on the law without giving them a chance to submit evidence to support their claims and they will appeal to the state’s highest court.

The panel said it was deferring the issue to the “political branches of government on whether aid-in-dying should be considered a prosecutable offense.”

There is currently a bill in the legislature which would legalize assisted suicide but it’s languishing in the face of fierce opposition from the Catholic Church.

Mentally competent, terminally ill patients have a right to refuse medical treatment in New York State, but doctors do not have the right to help them die.*


Assisted suicide is gravely evil. It’s good that they don’t allow it. :slight_smile:


I’m a fine example of why there should be the right to abort or allow for assisted suicide in some cases. I would never wish it on anyone else who loves life, it is just an individual assessment of myself.

I don’t really know why i logged in here today, after months of not doing so, after i stopped praying prayers that serve no purpose, increased doubt in Jesus. Our Lady, i thought, not too long ago, was my only route to anything , anywhere being even half- Catholic, if there is such a thing :frowning:

I wrote some of the below words to someone i emailed recently, but also added more to post here.

You keep your Jesus with you Leila, for all the good you imagine He does you. He is no longer, or ever was with me, Just as He wasn’t with those in France and elsewhere, for any reason, good or bad.

He is no longer, or ever was with me, Just as He wasn’t with those killed and injured in France and elsewhere, where He is needed in any capacity, for any reason, good or bad. Muslims were killed too in that attack, some ppl need to stop dehumanising them, those, the many, who wish others no harm otherwise things will never get better.

I’ll sit in my lonely room and watch with, the dark one, as chaos ensues all over. As we watch those we love suffer for the life you people and others, gave them.

I turned to Our Lady for a while,desperately trying to withhold doubts i had in Her too and also, for a time, evil thoughts turning me against her and which thankfully started to stop, slow down… because i wanted to hide behind her, as i still do my own mum when i am almost 50 yrs old, because of my weaknesses and the terrible sins, the stains that would never rub off, in my mind and the rest of your minds about me, even if i did go to confession.

I’m a living decomposition of all you hate in a man. The weakest of the weak. I guess i’m well and truly done here, with everyone.:crying:

Take care everyone and keep believing if that’s all you have to keep you going throughout the rest of your lives. You can remove this if it is not suitable to the thread topic.


This is better than euthanasia. Euthanasia is evil.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit