FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
David C. Leven

David C. Leven

End of Life Choices New York
Executive Director
New York, NY, USA


David Leven has been the Executive Director of End of Life Choices New York (EOLCNY) since 2002. EOLCNY seeks to expand choice at the end of life and improve the quality of care for New Yorkers, ensuring that their values and wishes are respected. An expert on advance care planning, patient rights, palliative care and end-of-life issues, Mr. Leven has played a key leadership role in having legislation introduced and enacted in New York to improve pain management, palliative care and end-of-life care. Included, among others laws enacted, are the Palliative Care Education and Training Act and the Palliative Care Information Act (PCIA).  The PCIA requires that terminally ill patients be offered information and counseling on their palliative care and end-of-life options. Continued legislative advocacy efforts include bills to ensure that patients have their end-of-life wishes respected, that doctors have required training in pain, palliative care and end-of-life care and that terminally ill patients have a right to aid in dying. A lawsuit and legislation to establish aid in dying in NY, both initiated by EOLCNY, are pending.

Mr. Leven is the author of articles published in the Health Law Journal of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) on the connection between the Palliative Care Information Act and the Family Health Care Decisions Act, which was also published in the Elder and Special Needs Law Journal of the NYSBA and an article in the New York Law School Law Review on health justice. Mr. Leven also has articles (co-authored) published on the Family Health Care Decisions Act and the Palliative Care Information Act in the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care and in Elder Law Attorney of the NYSBA.

Mr. Leven lectures frequently to diverse professional groups and citizens on health care decision making and end-of-life issues. He has been a regular guest lecturer at Fordham Graduate School of Social Service and College of New Rochelle School of Nursing. He has spoken at over 60 senior centers and retirement communities and at numerous meetings and conferences. In recent years he was a plenary speaker at Consortium of New York Geriatric Education Centers Conferences (twice), Jewish Home Life Care Annual Palliative Care Conference,  Westchester/NYS Southern Region, Collaborative for Palliative Care Conferences (5 times) and Westchester Medical Group at West Harrison and Rye. He has also presented at the New York Academy of Medicine, State Society on Aging of New York Conferences (four times), the Hospice and Palliative Care of New York State Annual Meeting and at several medical centers, including Albany Medical Center, Lawrence Hospital, Mt. Sinai Medical School, North Shore LIJ, and Upstate Medical University. He has lectured at New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association and Suffolk County Lawyers Association programs.  He has also lectured at all of the New York City area law schools as well as at Yale, Syracuse and Albany law schools. As a strong advocate for aid in dying Mr. Leven has debated on the topic at  Brooklyn, Columbia, Hofstra,  Rutgers, St. John’s and Yale Law Schools,  at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture and Mt. Sinai Medical School.

A graduate of the University of Rochester and Syracuse University College of Law, Mr. Leven is a recipient of numerous awards. They include the Public Interest Law Award of the New York State Bar Association, Committee on Public Interest Law and the Westchester Civil Liberties Union, Civil Liberties Award. In 1999 he was the Distinguished Public Interest Lawyer in Residence at Touro Law School.

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