A New Jersey Assembly committee has cleared a measure that would allow terminally ill patients to be prescribed medication that would end their lives.

The measure cleared by a 7-2 vote Thursday. Two members abstained.

The Death with Dignity Act would let adult patients who are told they have up to six months to live decide if they want to self-administer the lethal medication. Proponents say it gives these patients a choice to die humanely.

The bill's sponsor says state statutes are outdated and that New Jersey should follow the examples of other states considering similar measures.

About a dozen opponents testifying before the panel said the bill is unethical.

Many gave examples of people who received a diagnosis of death within six months and ended up living for years.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.