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Update: Death with Dignity bill to be voted on Thursday [POLL]

NJ Legislature
NJ Legislature

This is an update from a previous post regarding the Death with Dignity Act – which would give terminally ill patients the ability to end their suffering by allowing physicians to administer life-ending drugs:

According to this from nj.com:, a vote on the bill sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli will come up on Thursday.

There’s been much discussion about the bill, when it was first being talked about last year.

Here’s what I’d written a couple of weeks ago:

This has come up before in a piece I’d written back in November or December about a bill sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli giving terminally ill patients the right to obtain prescription to end their lives.

The bill was multifaceted in that the patient had to be given a diagnosis of 6 months or less to live, then, be able to obtain a prescription from a doctor, first verbally, then in writing signed by 2 witnesses 15 days later.

The patient is then given a chance to rescind the order, and the doctor along with another would have to determine that the patient was making the decision of their own free will.

Sounds like a lot of gobbledygook, but if a patient so chooses, is in enough distress, and meets all the above criteria – then the patient should be given that option.

Anyone who’s seen a loved one go through the final stages of any fatal disease might agree – and at the time, when the question was posed – a good many people gave the proposal a thumbs up.

Well, it’s come up again. This time the measure is being called the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, and has just been approved by a state Assembly Committee, the chairman of which, Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), a doctor in private practice, said that “people should have the right to self-determination from the beginning of their life to the end of it.”

According to a quote from nj.com, not everyone is in support of this bill. Some warn against it:

“Let’s get truthful: This bill is not about ‘death with dignity,’” Parkot said. “Often patients are misdiagnosed and could make a irreversible decision to die based on the wrong information.”

True, nobody knows the day or time when we will meet our ultimate fate. Not even a doctor.

Besides, as has been mentioned before, why bother passing a law when some terminally ill patients will want to do the deed on their own without all the red tape involved. (I’m guessing because of insurance considerations.)

But given the number of safeguards built into the law, could you support a measure allowing you to “die with dignity?”

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