Bills to Deny Medical Treatment Introduced in New York Senate

Four bills regarding the denial of life-preserving medical treatment  have been introduced to the New York State Senate by Kemp Hannon (R-6th SD), chair of the Senate Committee on Health.

These bills would weaken the safeguards currently in place for the very ill and developmentally disabled patients.

Below you’ll find the “Opposition Memo” from the New York State Right to Life Committee, who strongly opposes these measures and has fought for years to protect from euthanasia those who can no longer make health decisions for themselves. The links will take you to the text of the bills.


Denial of Treatment Legislation

S 4796(Hannon)/A 6966(Gottfried) related to Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders

The language of S4796 would create subjective standards for physicians seeking to impose a DNR order. A physician could impose a DNR if, in a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the patient would only live for “a short time.” However, without a defined period of time, physicians who believe a patient’s “quality of life” is unacceptably poor could consider a “short time” to be months or even a year or more. Further, the standard for physicians is subjective (not objective like a medical malpractice standard.) If two doctors simply claim (“determine”) they have made their judgment “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty,” that claim cannot be successfully challenged by anyone, no matter how clearly inaccurate it is. In this instance, the language used is unacceptably broad and chips away at the rights of the patient and their surrogate.

S 4794(Hannon)/A 6749( Rosenthal), related to starvation and dehydration of a patient

Current law protects patients who have completed a health care proxy document appointing a health care agent from being starved or dehydrated to death unless they have specifically authorized it. S. 4794 would allow health care agents to decide to starve and dehydrate patients based on “best interests” judgments by the health care agent even if the agent does not know the patients’ wishes. Removing this protection will lead to patients being starved and dehydrated to death against their wishes, having had no opportunity to express their wishes in that circumstance.

S 4795(Hannon)/A 2775(Pretlow), related to overriding family direction for treatment

Currently, when a surrogate directs provision of life-preserving treatment, the health care provider must give it pending transfer or judicial review. This bill would allow the provider to deny treatment while the surrogate seeks judicial review. Very possibly, therefore, the patient could die before the surrogate can even get to court. Moreover, the health care provider need only make “diligent efforts…. To notify the surrogate prior to implementing the decision” to deny treatment- so the surrogate may not even know of the denial in time to challenge it. A health care provider who contends that the patient had rejected the treatment the surrogate directed may present that evidence to the court, which, if persuaded, can then override the surrogate’s direction. A surrogate may well have evidence to offer that the health care provider misinterpreted the patient’s direction, or that the patient later expressed a contrary desire for the treatment the surrogate directed.

The new language would require only that the physician seeking to deny treatment recall the patient expressing orally (in front of the physician and another witness) or in writing a decision regarding life-sustaining treatment. There is no requirement that a notation be made in the patients file at the time of the conversation.

A competent patient who in fact wishes to reject life-saving treatment can do so in a written advance directive, which under NY law has a variety of safeguards such as warning statements and a requirement of witnesses. Health care providers certainly could advise their patients of this option at the time they allegedly state they want to reject treatment. But under the law, any writing rejecting treatment, lacking witnesses or informed consent safeguards is sufficient to let a health care provider override a family health care decision to provide treatment.

S 4791(Hannon)/A 6936(Clark) related to parental notice before a minor child is denied treatment

S 4791 would add language to existing law to require only that a hospital “make diligent efforts” to notify a parent of an emancipated minor patient before withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. Even when a difficult family situation or a rebellious teen has resulted in “emancipation,” a child who is a minor should not be abetted in throwing away his or her young life without the opportunity, at least, for parental input.

Kansas Gov. Signs Law Banning Dismemberment Abortions


This morning Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas signed into law a bill banning abortions in which the unborn child is dismembered. The new law was based on model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee. It’s being considered in other states as well. Like partial-birth abortion ban, the Kansas law will make it clear to the American people how brutal abortion is. The ensuing debate could have the power to transform the landscape of abortion policy in the U.S. Read more about it here.

UPDATE:  April 14 — Oklahoma Becomes Second State to Ban Dismemberment Abortions

40 Days for Life Concludes — 402 Babies Saved

d9aae5b6a281d7e02f230319145a538bWHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT 40 DAYS FOR LIFE


“Children who were scheduled to be aborted are alive today … because over these past 40 days, God blessed your prayers and peaceful vigil. In fact, we know of 402 babies saved from abortion during this 40 Days for Life campaign!

20150329_152357 The Spring 2015 40 Days for Life vigil drew to a close at 3 p.m. Sunday in Rockland and in hundreds of locations across America and around the world.

The closing prayer service on Perlman Drive in Spring Valley, attended by over 40 members of the Rockland 40 Days for Life project, was led by Msgr. Robert McCabe of St. Mary of the Assumption in Haverstraw.

Rockland Right to Life would like to express our admiration and gratitude for  the 40 Days for Life group — all the organizers and volunteers — who witnessed so bravely throughout the harsh winter days against a culture of death in our midst.

P3300159You showed how brightly light can shine when it is brought into the darkness –and testified to the hope that one day the darkness of abortion itself will be scattered by the light and warmth of your love.

Day 1     Week 1     Week 2    Week 3     Week 4      40 Days for Life: An Amazing Visitor

BELOW ARE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE CLOSING CEREMONIES AND THE FINAL WEEK OF THE 40 DAYS FOR LIFE: To enlarge a photo, click on it and then you can use the arrow to the right to advance thru the slide show of photos.

40 Days for Life: An Amazing Visitor

Untitled-1On March 25, the  Feast of the Annunciation, one of the traveling missionary images of Our Lady of Guadalupe arrived in Rockland County.

Replicas of the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the basilica in Mexico City, the traveling images have journeyed to thousands of sites across  America over the past 15 years to bring foster conversions, reverence for life, sanctity of the family, and solidarity of the Church.

The image was displayed at the 40 Days for Life prayer site at Perlman Drive in Spring Valley, the chapel of St. Margaret’s in Pearl River for the Cenacle of Life, and at the Sisters of Life  Motherhouse in Suffern.  Continue reading

NYS Assembly Passes Stand-Alone Abortion Expansion

From NYS Right to Life:


[Note: All three Assembly legislators representing Rockland County voted FOR this pro-abortion bill: Ken Zebrowski, Ellen Jaffe, and James Skoufis. Skoufis and Zebrowski even co-sponsored it]

ALBANY – Today in a vote of 94-49 the New York State Assembly approved passage of AB 6221, the extreme stand-alone 10th point from the previously packaged 10-point Women’s Equality Act, which would expand third-trimester abortions and allow non-doctors to perform abortions. Since 2013, abortion advocates have been holding the Women’s Equality Act hostage to this single dangerous bill, refusing to break the 10-point bill up. This session, however, the will of the voters was finally heard, and the stand-alone bills have been considered. “Expanding cruel and brutal third-trimester abortions has long been a goal of the anti-life lobby who never met an abortion they didn’t like,” said Lori Kehoe, New York State Right to Life executive director. “With no regard for the fully developed unborn baby who is violently dismembered, or otherwise killed, the New York State Assembly once again put the abortion lobby above New York State women and their children.”  Continue reading

Respect Life Group Marches In Pearl River

A classic St. Patrick’s Day — brilliant, clear sky, brisk wind, a warm, early spring sun shining down on all! Members of the Rockland prolife community marched under the banner of “Respect Life” in the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pearl River on Sunday, March 22.


To enlarge a photo, click on it and then you can use the arrow to the right to advance thru the slide show.