End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

5 Things You Should Know About the New Jersey Death With Dignity Actby Chris

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The NJ Death with Dignity Act would allow terminally ill (six month prognosis), mentally competent adults the choice to avoid a prolonged and painful death by ending their lives with self-administered medications.

  1. 65% of NJ voters want the legal option for a peaceful death if they are terminally ill.
  2. The NJ Death with Dignity Act (A3328) passed out of Assembly committee in February by a 7-2-2 vote and is expected to come up for a full vote during the lame duck session.
  3. NJ will become the fifth state in the Union to legalize aid in dying (after OR, WA, MT, and VT).
  4. Safeguards include: two physicians confirm prognosis; patient certifies free will in writing; two witnesses attest to patient’s mental competence.
  5. No evidence of abuse of such laws exists and very few use it – 83 individuals self-administered medication under Washington’s law in 2012, for instance.

For full language of the bill click here

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