The debate over physician-assisted suicide has gone before New York State's highest court.
The Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in a case filed by terminally ill patients who say they should be allowed to seek life-ending medication from their physician.
The attorney for the plaintiffs urged the judges to reverse a lower court ruling dismissing the challenge. He said existing laws against assisting a suicide should not apply to terminal patients seeking help from physicians because of an underlying and incurable condition.
An attorney for the state, however, countered that assisted suicide is a question of policy that must be left to the Legislature.
A ruling is expected this summer. Legislation to permit and regulate physician-assisted suicide has been introduced, but is not expected to get a vote this year.