Supreme Court refuses to lift order blocking assisted suicides


New Jersey’s top court declined to overturn a judge’s order preventing implementation of the state’s physician-assisted suicide law, instead sending the matter to the Appellate Division for a ruling on whether the measure should be struck down.

The Supreme Court said in an order Tuesday it would not lift last week’s temporary restraining order issued by Mercer County Paul Innes against the “Aid in Dying” law, which would have allowed physicians to prescribe life-ending medications to certain terminally ill patients so that they may end their own lives.

Innes sided with Dr. Yoseff Glassman of Bergenfield, who wants the measure invalidated. He argues that the state has not adopted enough regulations for the law which went into effect on Aug. 1.

…the Supreme Court said more legal scrutiny is necessary.

“The parties have not yet had the opportunity to brief, either before the Appellate Division or this Court, whether the restraints imposed should remain in place; and that an issue of this magnitude requires thoughtful consideration,” the Court said…

Glassman’s lawyer, E. David Smith, also suggested that the law creates a slippery slope. The minimum age for requesting the prescription might be lowered, for example.

“Family members might put this on … granny’s apple sauce,” Smith said. Or doctors and other medical staff, as well as the patient’s family, might find ways to circumvent the patient’s opposition to ending their own life…


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