Physician-assisted suicide up for debate again in NJ

Physician-assisted suicide up for debate again in NJ

State legislators are again looking at changing New Jersey law to allow terminally ill patients deemed by doctors to have less than six months to live to obtain a prescription for medication that, if taken, would end their lives.

Six states and Washington, D.C., now allow physician-assisted suicide. The first was Oregon, where nearly 1,300 terminally ill people have intentionally ended their lives by taking lethal medications in the last 20 years.

“Since the law was passed in Oregon, more people have not died. But fewer people have suffered,” said David Grube, a retired family physician from Oregon who testified Monday in Trenton to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Other doctors and legal experts called the proposal bad medicine and bad ethics.

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