ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Advocates for Compassion Choices were in Albany, calling on the state legislature to pass a bill to allow medical aid in dying in New York State.
With Mother’s Day just a few days away, Amy Eilert reflected on being a mom to her daughter, Ayla.
“Ayla was a lot of work actually, in so far as she wanted to be a professional dancer from the time that she was four,” said Eilert. “And so there is a lot of time put into that, but she was beautiful.”
Ayla, a lover of dance, food, and art was in her early twenties when she was diagnosed with cancer.
“To have mouth cancer— it was six months from diagnosis to death. That’s a very compressed time. And food being such a big part of life to begin with and then you lose the ability to consume it.”
Her parents say during those six months, she was forced to endure surgery, chemo, radiation, and unnecessary suffering.
This will be the second Mother’s Day without her. Ayla’s parents have made it their mission to advocate for medical aid in dying to help end suffering for terminally ill adults with a prognosis of six months or less to live.
Currently, 10 states and Washington, D.C. allow this. Vermont recently amended their law to include out-of-state residents. If passed, New York’s law would do the same.
However, the New York Catholic Diocese has stated, “ a better more compassionate solution is to invest in palliative care, which is woefully underutilized in New York, and which mitigates people’s desire for doctor-assisted suicide.
Despite support from Assemblymember Amy Paulin and Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, it doesn’t seem likely that the legislation will pass this session.
“It’s shocking to see it being held up,” explained Daren Eilert, Ayla’s father. “My biggest hope for them is that they don’t need a personal experience similar to the ones we’ve gone through,” said Amy Eilert.