New Jersey Senate advances assisted-suicide bill

Physicians could prescribe life-ending medication to terminally ill patients who request it under legislation that’s been passed by a New Jersey Senate panel.The Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens committee approved the “Death with Dignity Act” Monday. The Assembly passed similar legislation in November amid a heated debate over the issue.

Supporters say the legislation offers the terminally ill a way to end their lives on their own terms.

Opponents say the measure violates their religious faith and also could influence ill people to take their own lives against their wishes.

The measure now heads to the full Senate.

For the legislation to take effect, New Jersey residents would have to approve it through the ballot.

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