NJ's New Law: Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act

NJ's New Law: Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act into law on Friday, April 12, 2019. The law goes into effect on August 1, 2019, and allows terminally ill patients to request prescriptions from their doctors for medication to end their lives. New Jersey is the 8th jurisdiction to have a "death with dignity" statute.  

The law does not allow mercy killing, euthanasia, or assisted suicide. A patient must get a diagnosis from two New Jersey doctors saying the patient is terminally ill before the patient can get a lethal drug, often a barbiturate. The bill also says the patients can take the medication in the presence of a loved one or others, or opt to take it alone, but must be of sound mind and must administer the medication him or herself.  A patient must have a prognosis, based upon reasonable medical certainty, of six months or less.

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