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Denial of Treatment Seminar Highlights Threat of Involuntary Euthanasia

by | Mar 2, 2015

Burke Balch, J.D.

Burke Balch, J.D.

On Saturday, February 7, New York State Right to Life presented a Denial of Treatment Seminar in Hicksville, NY, hosted by Long Island Coalition for Life. The seminar highlighted the urgent threat to the lives of the medically vulnerable in current legislative proposals to allow involuntary euthanasia through denial of lifesaving medical treatment, food and fluids.

This critical event provided information not just on the imminent danger of patients being refused care based on subjective criteria that values some lives over others, but also on how New Yorkers can act to fight this trend and protect those susceptible to medical discrimination.

With increasing frequency, health care providers will deny vital care on the grounds that treating the patient would be “futile.” In these cases, care is considered futile not because it would fail to save or extend the patient’s life, but because, in the provider’s estimation, the patient’s life is not worth saving.

Too often, we hear from distraught families in the midst of a crisis where they are left fighting for the lives of their loved ones, who may be denied even the basic provisions of food and water,” said Lori Kehoe, executive director.

New York State Right to Life is committed to working at the legislative level to protect vulnerable patients and their families from those who declare that certain lives are no longer worth living.

In fact, New York State Right to Life fought successfully for years to ensure current New York State law provides some of the strongest patient protections in the country. However, those legal patient protections are now under attack from legislation being considered in the New York State legislature.

Attendees at Saturday’s seminar learned about some of the key legal battles that are expected to come up in the 2015 legislative session. These concerns include ensuring do not resuscitate (DNR) orders cannot be imposed against the wishes of a patient or surrogate, establishing protocols to safeguard patient consent for withholding or withdrawing treatment, nutrition and hydration, distinguishing the provision of food and fluids as basic care rather than extraordinary medical treatment, and guaranteeing that patients have access to information concerning key legal rights.

New Yorkers can stay connected to New York State Right to Life through its email list, Facebook page, or phone alert system (call 518-434-1293) for information about future seminars and current legislative updates.

Categories: Euthanasia