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North Country News

Former Assembly Member Discusses Support Of NY Medical Aid In Dying Bill

Photo of former Assemblywoman Janet Duprey
NYS Assembly
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Former Assemblywoman Janet Duprey

After a decade in office, former North Country New York state Assemblywoman Janet Duprey of the 115th district retired last year due to vision problems.  But she was back at the capital in Albany recently to lobby in support of the proposed Medical Aid in Dying Act.  She says her support of the measure is deeply rooted in personal experience.
 “The main reason that I have been involved in this for the last few years is because of my parents. I generally have kept my personal life very private but when this legislation has come up I feel very strongly about it. You know I’ll tell you my story. My dad died in 1994 from mesothelioma.  He was an old school tough guy.  But even with hospice and the prescribed morphine you couldn’t do anything to control the pain. It’s a horrible disease. The pain was terrible. And for my mom and me to watch him suffering was really too much to bear.  Five years later my mom started having a series of strokes. She lost her ability to swallow so the only thing keeping her alive was a feeding tube. She asked me if I would support her decision to remove the feeding tube because she wanted to die.”   

Former Assemblywoman Janet Duprey does not expect the bill to pass before the end of this session and says advocates are educating legislators about death with dignity issues.
 

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