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First steps in New Jersey: Assembly passed Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act

The New Jersey Assembly passed bill A 2451 ‘Aid in Dying or the Terminally Ill Act’ by a 41-28 vote with five abstentions. This act would allow people facing a terminal illness and less than six months left to live, to end their lives by taking lethal drugs prescribed by their physician. Physicians will not be prosecuted when writing lethal prescriptions for such terminal patients.

The bill heads to the Senate now. It is unclear whether the bill will have enough support among the members of the Senate. Also, Governor Chris Christie already stated he will veto the bill if it will pass the Senate.

A majority of people in New Jersey favour physician-assisted suicide and nearly two third of a last year’s poll stated that it is morally acceptable for terminal ill people to take their own lives.  

If the bill would be signed into law, New Jersey would be the 6th state in the USA to legalize a form of physician-assisted dying. California, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vermont already allow physician-assisted suicide. Other states (Colorado, New Mexico, Washington DC) as well are bringing aid in dying bills in their parliaments.