Death with dignity considered by N.J. Assembly

A measure that would allow terminally ill patients to decide when to die is being proposed by a New Jersey lawmaker.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli is the sponsor of the Death with Dignity Act. He says the bill would give patients with six months or less to live the choice of dying by taking physician prescribed medication.

“It’s not a Dr. Kevorkian bill where someone who’s 45 years of age who’s depressed and lost their job decides they don’t want to live and wants to call someone to assist them in suicide. This bill is very narrow.”

A patient who wanted the lethal drugs would have to submit a request signed by two witnesses. Two doctors would have to certify the diagnosis and affirm the patient was capable of making the decision to end their life.

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Burzichelli says it’s a policy issue that needs to be considered and anticipates a thorough debate on it.


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