Lawmakers Push NJ Governor for Late Changes to Assisted Suicide Bill

Lawmakers Push NJ Governor for Late Changes to Assisted Suicide Bill

 

New Jersey is poised to enact a law known as “Aid in Dying” which would allow terminally ill individuals who have less than six months to live to obtain medication they could take themselves to induce death.

But a handful of Republican lawmakers are concerned the law goes too far. Some are now pushing Gov. Phil Murphy for changes in the legislation, which he promised to sign after it passed both the state Assembly and Senate, on Monday. Another legislator said he will seek to ramp up the penalties for those who abuse the future law…

Opponents of the concept — including some physicians and religious organizations —worry that the measure creates a conflict with a doctor’s sworn oath to save lives. Other fear it would encourage suicide or could be abused by family members seeking to ease their own caregiving responsibilities; a number of individuals with disabilities also opposed the measure on these grounds.

On Wednesday, Assembly members Christopher DePhillips (R-Bergen) and Serena DiMaso (R-Monmouth) sent a letter to the Democratic governor urging him to either veto the proposal outright or use his power to force the Legislature to revise the bill to include additional patient protections. These include requiring physicians to oversee the patient’s use of the deadly medication.

“There have to be extraordinary safeguards in place if we do something like this,” DePhillips said. “This bill is so impersonal and so disconnected from what doctors should be doing for patients,” he added.

A few hours later, Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-Bergen) announced he would introduce separate legislation to require a prison sentence of 25 years to life for anyone convicted of using an aid-in-dying law to intentionally harm patients; supporters of the measure say there is no evidence this has happened in other states that permit this practice. “These acts are tantamount to murder and should incur a penalty of a crime of the first degree,” Auth said…

Read more at NJ Spotlight.com…