It’s too risky for New Jersey to legalize assisted suicide, a group of local doctors say

There are many options already available to patients in New Jersey at the end of life; assisted suicide should not be one of them.

Hospice and palliative care are underutilized resources for the terminally ill, and in the case of palliative interventions, the chronically ill as well. Refusing medical interventions and medications at the end of life is also both a reasonable and ethical option at times. But assisted suicide motivates insurance companies to deny treatment and leaves the door wide open for abuse and coercion of the most vulnerable in society. We believe that the risks and perverse incentives that the legalization of assisted suicide creates must be exposed.

The proposed New Jersey Assisted Suicide legislation risks that some will have a suicide death and it makes the doctor a party to that suicide. No healthcare professional or disinterested witness to the “aided” death is required so there is ample opportunity for foul play. With skyrocketing healthcare costs, assisted suicide gives insurance companies an exponentially less expensive option because it is cheaper to prescribe death pills than pay for expensive treatments which preserve life.

Since assisted suicide became legal in California and Oregon, somehave experienced this firsthand. There have been documented cases of insurance companies denying coverage for standard treatments and offering to cover assisted suicide. Instead of the best treatments, these patients were offered the cheapest option — a death through lethal medications — perfectly legal to do in states that have passed assisted suicide laws.

Read more at NJ.com…

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