Update: The 15-day temporary restraining order expired but the Attorney General made an application for permission to file an emergent motion with the appellate division late this afternoon seeking dissolution of the restraints. The application has been granted.
In April New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill known as the “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act,” which allows doctors to write a lethal prescription for terminally ill patients who want to end their lives.
The bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli and Senator Nick Scutari, makes New Jersey the eighth state to allow such end-of-life decisions with the assistance of medical professionals.
“Allowing residents with terminal illnesses to make end-of-life choices for themselves is the right thing to do,” Governor Murphy said.
“By signing this bill today, we are providing terminally ill patients and their families with the humanity, dignity, and respect that they so richly deserve at the most difficult times any of us will face. I commend Assemblyman Burzichelli for steering us down this long, difficult road, and thank the Legislature for its courage in tackling this challenging issue.”
The bill passed both chambers of the State Legislature on March 25 with the minimum votes necessary to pass; 41 in the Assembly and 21 in the Senate.
“This will provide a humane choice for terminally-ill patients who are experiencing tremendous suffering and pain. It offers the freedom of choice for those with no hope of surviving beyond six months to end their suffering in a dignified way,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney.
“It is a very personal decision. I watched someone I loved suffer for the last six months of her life from cancer while her children watched. Her suffering was prolonged to a point where she entered a hospice where her medications were increased until she passed away. I don’t think that was humane for her or for her loved ones. This will offer patients in end-of-life circumstances an option to decide their own fate in their final days.”
The bill permits terminally ill, adult patients residing in New Jersey to obtain and self-administer medication to end their lives peacefully and humanely.
The bill went into effect on August 1st.
That is until an orthodox Jew stepped in.
He obtained a temporary restraining order which prevented the New Jersey assisted suicide act from going into effect. So although it technically went into effect August 1, with the 15 day waiting period, no one could ‘commit suicide’ until the 16th.
Smith and Associates stated: The Act (which should be more properly called the “New Jersey Physician-Assisted Suicide Act”), provides for, among other things, the self-infliction of death by way of fatal “medication”, i.e. pharmaceutical poisons; compelling even non-participating physicians to transfer patients’ medical records for the purpose of furthering the Statute’s aims against many of such physicians’ beliefs and duties; allowing for the disparate treatment of patients; allowing for the transfer of unused fatal pharmaceuticals to persons not otherwise authorized; and amending the statutory duty to otherwise warn of harm to others.
Moreover, the Act provides that in advance of the effective date of August 1, 2019, no fewer than six (6) regulatory bodies were to have issued required rules and regulations. However, no such required regulations or rules have been issued, rendering the entire death process wholly unregulated.
Additionally, his lawyer says “He feels it opposes his rights as a doctor, his obligations as a doctor to heal and his religious viewpoints, which is that he does not want to participate in an assisted suicide,” said E. David Smith, Dr. Glassman’s attorney.