December 8, 2015: Legal and Ethical Issues of Aid in Dying is Topic of New York State Bar Program

Legal and ethical issues surrounding aid in dying will be addressed at an upcoming New York State Bar Association continuing legal education program on December 16. 

“Aid in Dying: A Terminally Ill Patient’s Right to Choose and What Practitioners Need to Know” will feature expert attorneys and doctors who will discuss the legal issues and ethical implications of aid in dying. An in-depth panel discussion will feature case studies.

“As attorneys, it is imperative that we keep up on current law, litigation and legislative proposals regarding aid-in-dying initiatives,” said State Bar President David P. Miranda.

Topics will include the Family Health Care Decision Act; a brief history of aid in dying; a review of Myers et al v. Schneiderman; current New York state legislative proposals and the Patient Self Determination Act; and the ethics of the right to die.

Speakers include:

• Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics at William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty and  director of the Division of Medical Ethics, New York University, Langone Medical Center;

• Lawrence R. Faulkner, director of corporate compliance and general counsel, Arc of Westchester County;

• Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, chair of the state Assembly Health Committee;

• Alice Herb, clinical professor emerita, SUNY Downstate Medical Center;

• David C. Leven, executive director, End of Life Choices New York;

• Maria M. Homan, Office of Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, sponsor of Patient Self Determination Act, state Assembly;

• Professor Karen Porter, associate professor of clinical law and executive director, Health, Science, and Public Policy, Brooklyn Law School;

• Timothy Quill, professor of medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry;

• Ruth Scheuer, adjunct assistant professor of medical ethics in medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College;

• Eric A. Seiff, Storch Amini & Munves;

• Kathryn L. Tucker, executive director, Disability Legal Rights Center and counsel in Myers et al v Schniederman; and

• Dennis C. Vacco, former New York state attorney general and partner at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman.

The program will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 16 at the New York State Society of Security Analysts, 1540 Broadway, New York City.  It also will be available as a simultaneous live webcast. 

Co-sponsors include the State Bar’s Health Law, Elder Law and Special Needs and Trusts and Estates Law sections, and the Committee on Continuing Legal Education.  The Bioethical Issues Committee and the Health Law Committees of the New York City Bar Association are also co-sponsoring the event.

Members of the media may view the live webcast for free by contacting Christina Couto at or (518) 487-5535.

Upon completion of the program, attorneys are eligible for 6.5 MCLE credits (5.5 in areas of professional practice, 1.0 in ethics).  Newly admitted attorneys (less than 24 months) must attend in person to receive New York MCLE credit. Cost is $175 for State Bar members and $275 for non-members. To register online, visit

States that have passed aid-in-dying legislation include Oregon, Vermont, Washington and California. In New York, legislation has been introduced in the New York State Senate and Assembly.

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director of Media Services