Right-to-die advocates hailed last week's federal appeals court decision to lift New York's ban on assisted suicides.
But State Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco said he would appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In its ruling, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan cleared the way for physicians legally to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide, reversing a 1994 federal court decision in a case brought by three physicians on behalf of their terminally ill patients.
The Death with Dignity Education Center, a proponent of right-to-die policies, called the ruling a "victory for compassion and common sense." The decision echoes a ruling last month by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, it said.
In a written policy reaffirmed last year, the Medical Society of the State of New York said physicians have an obligation to provide "effective palliative treatment" but "should not perform euthanasia or participate in assisted suicide."