This past Monday, April 24th; at the Scarsdale Library, which WAS NOT fully equipped for the disabled! Disability rights advocate and one of the evening's guest speakers, Anna Fay was unable to access the raised section - the speaker's area - because there was no permanent or temporary ramp. You can see it in this picture and the brief videos below.
Since Scarsdale is home to Assemblywoman Amy Paulin who is the bill's primary sponsor, this oversight was an embarrassment and particularly ironic since the disabled community fears this type of legislation would overlook their needs and quite possibly target them because of their vulnerable state.
LoHud in their article estimated 150 people attended - but we think it was more like 160-180. The room was filled - standing room only. Here is a picture before the debate -
Gary Stern and Nancy Cutler from LoHud moderated the evening and asked the questions, but audience questions accepted for response were very limited. LoHud said they would publish online instead those questions not addressed that evening.
We doubt if anyone there hadn't already made up their minds on the issue of assisted-suicide or physician-assisted suicide - when the Doctor writes a script and participates in the killing of his patient.
Here is the pre-debate publicity about the participants:
Arguing for the legislation will be: Assemblyperson Amy Paulin; David Leven, executive director of End of Life Choices; and Stacey Gibson, volunteer advocate for Compassion & Choices. Opposing the legislation will be: Edward Mechmann, Esq., director of public policy for the Archdiocese of New York; J.J. Hanson, president of the Patients’ Rights Action Fund; and Anna Fay, a board member of Westchester Disabled on the Move and senior vice president for Independent Living Services in New York City.
Paulin and Gibson related family situations involving loved ones with serious, long-term debilitating illnesses. The sort of situations that everyone dreads. And the sort of situations that almost everyone has had to face within their own families or circle of friends. While everyone should empathize with these tragic stories, legislating to the "hard case" is never a good practice, legally or otherwise. J.J. Hanson's story of recovery after being given a devastating prognosis for his illness sought to balance the emotional quotient that drives this "solution" and this type, in J.J.'s words, of hopelessness in legislation.
From the perspective of preaching to the pro-suicide choir, David Leven was overly aggressive at times, shouting down other speakers. He did a fair bit of screaming and on at least two occasions said that Ed Mechmann was lying (once when Mechmann was quoting law!), and once quoted a NY Times editorial - which of course is equivalent to the Bible if you are pro-assisted-suicide.
Bizarrely - yet another example of the Culture of Death using verbal engineering to implement social engineering - they all claimed that a situation where the doctor dispenses poison for the patient to kill his/herself was not assisting in a suicide. It must be called "aid in dying" - the death certificate is going to show an underlying disease as cause of death, not the poison or overdose.
Here is the article on the LoHud/Journal News website. Thanks to Ed Riely for organizing the graphics and people protesting - see the picture when you hit the link for the article.
Of course LoHud, "progressive" publication that they are - uses the title "Aid in Dying".
Tara Taryn was attending, and had an excellent facebook posting with some pictures. Tara did a great job describing the pro-life participation:
Tara wrote: "Debate on assisted suicide (should New York allow 'aid in dying?') Our PRO-LIFE movement had a great panel of experts on why it should NOT be legalized, including Ed Mechmann, Attorney of the Archdiocese of New York; JJ Hanson, a young man given a prognosis of four months in 2014; and A. Fay, a disabled woman, who testified to how the disabled don't really get the care they deserve. So proud of the turnout by our PRO-LIFE people. We filled up at least half the room. Thanks to Fr. Rojos of St. Joseph's church in Yonkers for your presence and your strong message, and thanks to some religious Sisters who were also present. I think we all made a very strong impact and statement for the sanctity of LIFE!! #prolifegeneration #respectlife #lifematters #lifeissacred #teamlife #whywemarch"
Here are two brief videos - part of Ed Mechmann's introductory talk and all of Anna Fay's.
And Anna Fay: