Urge Governor Christie to Veto S866/A2648, Gestational Surrogacy legislation

Unborn Child

The NJ Assembly passed S866/A2648, the Gestational Surrogacy Bill, on May 14, 2015 by a vote of 43-25-3.  See how your Two Assembly members voted here

The Senate passed the bill previously on February 5, 2015.  See how your State Senator voted here 

Please take the Action stated below.


On Thursday, March 19, 2015, the Assembly Human Services released Bill S866/A2648 from Committee. The bill already passed the NJ Senate.  See how your State Senator voted here

NJRTL Executive Director Marie Tasy testified against the bill, as did Harold Cassidy, Esq., who is the former member of the NJ Bioethics Commission and Chief Counsel for the Mother in the Baby M Case. Also testifying against the bill was Angelia Gail Robinson, a Gestational Surrogacy mother of twin girls, Cathi Swett, a licensed attorney, and Greg Quinlan of NJ Family First.

The bill passed along partisan lines in the Assembly committee with Democrats voting for it and the two Republicans voting against. Asw. Mosquera (D-4) expressed concerns with the bill after hearing testimony and urged the sponsor to ensure that the issues mentioned are addressed in the bill. For press coverage on the bill: Read


Please also visit www.stopsurrogacynow.com campaign to help stop the exploitation of women and children through surrogacy.  Please join and share this link. Thank you.

Action Needed:


1.   Email and call Governor Christie. Thank him for vetoing the gestational carrier bill in the past and urge him to veto S866/A2648  once again.

Phone Governor Christie:  609-292-6000

Click on the hyperlink below to email the Governor:

Email the Governor 




May 14, 2015 Assembly Vote on S866/A2648, Gestational Carrier Bill

baby being pulledEach Legislative District is comprised of two Assembly Members and One State Senator. To see how your State Senator, go here

Asm.  5/14/2015  –  3RDG FINAL PASSAGE   –  Yes 43, No 25, Not Voting 9,  Abstains 3  –  Roll Call


Please Note:  Some of the Members who are listed as “Not Voting” were absent. 

Andrzejczak, Bob – Yes Angelini, Mary Pat – No Auth, Robert – No
Benson, Daniel R. – Yes Bramnick, Jon M. – No Brown, Chris A. – No
Brown, Christopher J. – Abstain Bucco, Anthony M. – Not Voting Burzichelli, John J. – Not Voting
Caputo, Ralph R. – Yes Caride, Marlene – Yes Carroll, Michael Patrick – Not Voting
Casagrande, Caroline – No Ciattarelli, Jack M. – No Clifton, Robert D. – Not Voting
Conaway, Herb, Jr. – Yes Coughlin, Craig J. – Yes Dancer, Ronald S. – No
Danielsen, Joe – Yes DeAngelo, Wayne P. – Abstain DeCroce, BettyLou – No
DiMaio, John – No Diegnan, Patrick J., Jr. – Yes Egan, Joseph V. – Not Voting
Eustace, Tim – Yes Fiocchi, Samuel L. – No Fuentes, Angel – Yes
Garcia, Carmelo G. – Yes Giblin, Thomas P. – Yes Gove, DiAnne C. – No
Green, Jerry – Yes Greenwald, Louis D. – Yes Gusciora, Reed – Yes
Handlin, Amy H. – Yes Holley, Jamel C. – Yes Jasey, Mila M. – Yes
Jimenez, Angelica M. – Yes Johnson, Gordon M. – Yes Kean, Sean T. – No
Lagana, Joseph A. – Yes Lampitt, Pamela R. – Yes Mainor, Charles – Yes
Mazzeo, Vincent – Yes McGuckin, Gregory P. – No McHose, Alison Littell – No
McKeon, John F. – Yes Moriarty, Paul D. – Yes Mosquera, Gabriela M. – Not Voting
Mukherji, Raj – Yes Munoz, Nancy F. – No Muoio, Elizabeth Maher – Yes
O’Donnell, Jason – Yes O’Scanlon, Declan J., Jr. – Yes Oliver, Sheila Y. – Not Voting
Peterson, Erik – No Pinkin, Nancy J. – Yes Pintor Marin, Eliana – Yes
Prieto, Vincent – Yes Quijano, Annette – Yes Rible, David P. – No
Rodriguez-Gregg, Maria – No Rumana, Scott T. – No Rumpf, Brian E. – No
Russo, David C. – No Schaer, Gary S. – Abstain Schepisi, Holly – Not Voting
Simon, Donna M. – No Singleton, Troy – Yes Space, Parker – No
Spencer, L. Grace – Not Voting Stender, Linda – Yes Sumter, Shavonda E. – Yes
Taliaferro, Adam J. – Yes Tucker, Cleopatra G. – Yes Vainieri Huttle, Valerie – Yes
Webber, Jay – No Wilson, Gilbert L. – Yes Wimberly, Benjie E. – Yes
Wisniewski, John S. – Yes Wolfe, David W. – No

H.R. 36, The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Passes in the U.S. House of Representatives

twenty week baby


On May 13, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act by a vote of 242-184.  All Republican Members of Congress from NJ  voted Yes except, Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11), who voted No with all the Democratic Members of Congress from NJ.

The Roll Call Vote can be found Here

Below is a Statement from NJ Congressman Chris Smith (R-4) who was one of the lead sponsors of the Legislation.  We wish to thank Congressman Smith and all the Members who voted yes to protect pain capable unborn children from excruciating pain and death.

Protect Pain Capable Unborn Children from the Violence of Abortion

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04)

Excerpts of Remarks on H.R. 36

May 13, 2015

Two years ago today, Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder, conspiracy to kill and involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Even though the news of Gosnell’s child slaughter was largely suppressed by the mainstream media, many of my colleagues may remember that Dr. Gosnell operated a large Philadelphia abortion clinic where women died and countless babies were dismembered or chemically destroyed often by having their spinal cords snipped—all gruesome procedures causing excruciating pain to the victim.

Today, the House considers landmark legislation authored by Trent Franks to protect unborn children beginning at the age of 20 weeks post fertilization from pain-filled abortions.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is needed now more than ever because there are Gosnells all over America, dismembering and decapitating pain-capable babies for profit:

  • Men like Steven Brigham of New Jersey, an interstate abortion operator—35 aborted babies were found in his freezer.
  • Men like Leroy Carhart, caught on video tape joking about his abortion toolkit—complete with a “pickaxe” and “drill bit”—while describing a three day long late term abortion procedure and the infant victim as “putting meat in a crock pot.”
  • Or like Deborah Edge who wrote in an op-ed that she “saw the abortionist puncture the soft spot in the baby’s head or snip his neck if it was delivered alive.”

Some euphemistically call this choice, but, a growing number of Americans rightly regard it as violence against children. And huge majorities—60 percent according to November 2014 Quinnipiac poll—want it stopped!

Fresh impetus for the bill came from a huge study of nearly 5,000 babies—preemies—published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The next day, a New York Times article titled: “Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated” touted the Journal’s extraordinary findings of survival and hope. (Let me note that these 22-week-old children referred to in the Times articles are the same age as the 20-week children that will be protected by this bill. The only difference is the method used to calculate age.)

Just imagine, Madame Speaker, preemies at 20 weeks are surviving as technology and medical science advance. And some like Alexis Hutchinson, featured in the New York Times story is today a healthy 5 year old who originally weighed in at a mere 1.1 pounds.

Thus the babies we seek to protect from harm today may survive if treated humanely, with expertise and compassion—not the cruelty of the abortion.

That is why, H.R. 36 requires that a late abortion permitted under limited circumstances provide the “best opportunity for the unborn child to survive” and that “a second physician trained in neonatal resuscitation” be “present and prepared to provide care to a child” consistent with the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act recognizes the medical evidence that unborn children feel pain.

One leading expert in the field of fetal pain, Dr. Anand, at the University of Tennessee stated in his expert report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice: It is my opinion that the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by term newborns or older children.”

Surgeons today entering the womb to perform corrective procedures on unborn children have seen those babies flinch, jerk, and recoil from sharp objects and incisions.

Surgeons routinely administer anesthesia to unborn children in the womb. We now know that the child ought to be treated as a patient, and there are many anomalies, many sicknesses that can be treated while the child is still in utero. When those interventions are done, anesthesia is given.

Dr. Colleen Malloy, assistant professor, Division of Neonatology at the Northwestern University, in her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee said: “When we speak of infants at 20 weeks post-fertilization we no longer have to rely on inferences or ultrasound imagery, because such premature patients are kicking, moving and reacting and developing right before our eyes in the neonatal intensive care unit.”

Dr. Malloy went on to say, “in today’s medical arena, we resuscitate patients at this age and are able to witness their ex-utero growth.” She says “I could never imagine subjecting my tiny patients to horrific procedures such as those that involve limb detachment or cardiac injection”

Other provisions in H.R. 36 include:

  • An Informed Consent Form including the age of the child; a description of the law; an explanation that if the baby is born-alive, he or she will be given medical assistance and transported to a hospital; and information about the woman’s right to sue if these protections are not followed.  Women deserve this information.
  • The woman is empowered with a Civil Right of Action, so she may sue abortion providers who fail to comply with the law. Parents are also given a civil right of action if the law is not followed with regard to their minor daughter.
  • In the case of a minor who is pregnant as a result of rape or incest and is having an abortion at 20 weeks or later, the abortion provider must notify either social services, or law enforcement to ensure the safety of the child and stop any ongoing abuse.
  • In the case of an adult who is pregnant as a result of a sexual assault and is having an abortion at 20 weeks or later, the provider must ensure that she has received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours prior to the abortion.

 Compliance with State Laws including parental involvement requirements, and state reporting requirements is required.

  • The National Center for Health Statistics will issue an Annual Statistical Report (without personally identifying information) providing statistical information about abortions carried out after 20 weeks post-fertilization age.

Finally, pain, we all dread it. We avoid it. We even fear it. And we all go to extraordinary lengths to mitigate its severity and its duration.

Today, there are Kermit Gosnells all over America inflicting not only violence, cruelty, and death on very young children, but excruciating pain as well. This legislation protects an entire age specific class of kids from preventable pain—and death.

Jeff Sagnip

Communications Director for Cong. Chris Smith

2373 Rayburn House Office Bdg.

Washington, DC 20515

tel. (202) 225-3765/ jeff.sagnip@mail.house.gov



Physician Assisted Suicide Bill Fails in Connecticut


Aid-In-Dying Bill Fails To Get A Vote By Legislative Committee
Tim Appleton, Connecticut campaign manager for Compassion and Choices, spoke in favor of aid-in-dying legislation at the Capitol on March 16. (Michael McAndrews)
By Daniela Altimari contact the reporter Laws and Legislation Connecticut General Assembly

Aid-in-dying bill fails to come to a vote in the legislature’s Judiciary Committee
HARTFORD — For the third time in three years, aid-in-dying legislation has stalled at the state Capitol.

Advocates on both sides of the emotional issue say the legislature’s Judiciary Committee has opted not to vote on House Bill 7015, which would have permitted terminally ill patients to request a doctor’s help to end their lives. The measure is unlikely to move forward without the committee’s endorsement.

“Each year that lawmakers fail to act prolongs the suffering for thousands of terminally ill Connecticut residents and the people who love them,” said Tim Appleton, Connecticut campaign director for Compassion & Choices, a national group promoting aid-in-dying legislation in statehouses around the nation.

Letting Important Bills Die Is A Craven Way To Govern
Letting Important Bills Die Is A Craven Way To Govern
Supporters said the proposal would have allowed mentally competent patients with fewer than six months to live the chance for a dignified death, free of pain.

“About 7,000 people will die from cancer this year in Connecticut without having this choice. Many will endure painful deaths. They should have the choice — to die peacefully, with dignity, and on their terms,” Appleton said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

Critics denounced the concept as “assisted suicide” and said it devalues life and leaves people with disabilities vulnerable to coercion.
Led by the Catholic bishops, a broad coalition that includes disability rights activists, hospice providers and the Connecticut State Medical Society joined together to stop the bill. The church funded a multimedia ad campaign aimed at swaying public opinion against the proposal.

Michael C. Culhane, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference, said he was “thrilled” but not surprised by the committee’s decision to forgo a vote on the bill. Opponents have been counting votes since the bill was drafted in February and knew support was weak, he said.

Culhane said the measure’s failure to move forward was due to a large and diverse coalition that worked together to persuade legislators that the bill was bad public policy.

“It was a collective effort that produced the results that were announced today,” he said.

Catholic Church Poised For Pivotal Role In Aid-In-Dying Bill
Catholic Church Poised For Pivotal Role In Aid-In-Dying Bill
Appleton had strong words for the Catholic Church. “The Church lobby has a history of driving fear of change, and they are spending an incredible amount of funds trying to do just that in Connecticut,” he said.

The bill was the subject of a long and often emotional public hearing last month, drawing hundreds of people who shared raw, often personal stories of a loved one’s demise or their own struggle with a terminal illness.

In the three times the legislature has considered such a bill since 2013, the bills never received a committee vote, one of the first steps in the legislative process. In theory, the concept could be raised on the floor of the House or the Senate as an amendment, but most observers consider that unlikely.

“We would urge the General Assembly to focus on improving hospice, palliative care and home care … rather than continue to waste time on an issue that has now been rejected three years in a row without a committee vote,” said Stephen Mendelsohn, a disability rights activist with the group Second Thoughts Connecticut. “Three strikes and you are out.”

Appleton and other supporters remain confident the concept eventually will win approval in Connecticut. They point to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted last month that found nearly 2-to-1 support for aid-in-dying.
“Civil rights issues such as gay marriage took many years to gain approval in Connecticut, and today the majority of people cannot imagine a time when marriage equality was not fully accepted here,” Appleton said. “Today, 63 percent of Connecticut voters support aid-in-dying, a percentage that has increased from previous years. We believe that, like gay marriage and other issues of personal choice, aid in dying will continue to gain support and approval by the legislature. Aid-in-dying will eventually become the law in Connecticut.”

Three states — Oregon, Washington and Vermont — have laws allowing doctors to prescribe lethal medications to terminally ill patients. Courts in both New Mexico and Montana have found aid in dying legal, and a lawsuit seeking a similar ruling was recently filed in New York.

Meanwhile, an aid-in-dying bill is moving through the California legislature, fueled in part by the death of brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard, who moved from California to Oregon because she sought a physician’s help in ending her life. California’s End of Life Option Act cleared the Senate judiciary committee earlier this week.

But other states have rejected the concept. Voters in Massachusetts defeated a 2012 ballot initiative that would have legalized aid-in-dying.

Culhane said he expects proponents to continue trying to win approval in Connecticut.

“I assume they’re going to be back,” Culhane said. “The concept of aid-in-dying is being pursued across the country and the proponents would love to grab a success.”

Copyright © 2015, Hartford Courant

Maryland Lawmakers pull the plug on Physician Assisted Suicide bill

MD flag


Death with dignity’ bill extinguished without a vote
By Erin Cox

The Baltimore Sun
contact the reporter Maryland General Assembly

Lawmakers pull plug on ‘death with dignity’ bill without a vote.
Right-to-die legislation that sparked emotional debate in Annapolis will not be voted on this year.
Maryland leaders delay any action on right-to-die bills until next year.
Hope ended Wednesday for those who wanted Maryland to pass a “death with dignity” law this year.

Leaders of two key committees considering a bill that would have allowed doctors to prescribe medicine to help terminally ill patients end their lives decided not to vote on the proposal, effectively killing it.

“It’s a good approach,” Del. Shane Pendergrass, a Howard County Democrat who pushed the legislation. “These kinds of large issues take a certain amount of deliberating,” she said. “They also require some time for people to think about this. We have a lot of freshmen who want to go back to their districts, that they’re not used to representing, and see what they people think.”

Key negotiators said it became clear that the proposal might have had enough votes to pass out of a joint House Committee, but it could spur a bruising debate on the floor. House leaders said they decided to forgo a vote rather than undertake a potentially losing one.

Opponents of the law celebrated its quiet death.

“We are absolutely delighted that the committees realized that this bill would not work for Marylanders,” said Sam Crane, director of public policy for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and a member of the MD Coalition Against Physician Assisted Suicide.

Crane’s group, religious organizations, mental health groups and disability advocates had argued that the bill would sanction death for people who relied on others to care for them and could put some the state’s most vulnerable populations at risk.

Maryland was among more than 15 states weighing right-to-die legislation this year, part of a nationwide movement sparked by the advocacy of 29-year-old brain tumor patient Brittany Maynard.

Maynard drew attention by chronicling the final months of her life. She ended it last fall under a right-to-die law in Oregon, one of only five states with such a policy.
The spate of legislation is a rapid reversal from 15 years ago, when states across the country banned physician-assisted suicide in response to the efforts of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Maryland made the practice a felony in 1999.

The bill would have allowed patients with a terminal diagnosis and a prognosis of less than six months to obtain a prescription for a lethal dose of a drug. The patient would have been required to take the drug without assistance.

Former Ravens linebacker O.J. Brigance traveled to Annapolis this year to ask lawmakers to reject state-sanctioned death for people with terminal conditions.

Brigance, who was diagnosed in 2007 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — Lou Gehrig’s disease — speaks through a machine. He told lawmakers that choosing to live with his degenerative condition has “done a greater good for society in eight years than my previous 37 years on earth.”



Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun

NJ Woman with Glioblastoma given 2 mos to live has survived for 9 yrs and seen 5 grandchildren born

pasWoman with brain cancer who was given just two months to live has survived for NINE years and seen five grandchildren born after being given experimental vaccine

  • Sandra Hillburn, 68, was diagnosed with terminal glioblastoma in April 2006 
  • She was offered to be in a experimental 12-patient study at Duke University 
  • Researchers gave a tetanus shot
  • The patients were treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and tetanus-diphtheria shot  
  • Study found that patients who got the tetanus shot lived years longer than those who didn’t

Nine years – and five grandchildren – later, the 68-year-old retiree from New Jersey is still going strong, and all thanks to an experimental treatment involving a common vaccine.

Hillburn, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, was one of 12 cancer patients who were given a tetanus shot as part of a new study conducted at the Duke University Medical Center.

Researchers found that a dose of tetanus vaccine let patients like Hillburn live longer when added to an experimental treatment for the most common and deadly kind of brain tumor,

Beating the odds: In April 2006, when Sandy Hillburn was diagnosed with glioblastoma - the most common and deadly kind of brain tumor - she was given only two-three months to live

Beating the odds: In April 2006, when Sandy Hillburn was diagnosed with glioblastoma – the most common and deadly kind of brain tumor – she was given only two-three months to live

Matriarch: Thanks to an experimental treatment involving the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine, Hillburn (top center) got to witness the birth of five more grandchildren 

Matriarch: Thanks to an experimental treatment involving the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine, Hillburn (top center) got to witness the birth of five more grandchildren

It ‘put the immune system on high alert,’ paving the way for the experimental treatment to work better in attacking the disease, said researcher Kristen Batich of the Duke University Medical Center.

In a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature, she and others describe a study of 12 patients. Some who got the tetanus shot lived years longer than those who didn’t.

Dr. John Sampson of Duke, senior author of the report, called the results promising but noted the study was small, and said bigger studies are needed to confirm the results. A follow-up study has already been planned but isn’t recruiting patients yet, Batich said.

The results are ‘very exciting,’ said Dr. Nader Sanai of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. While he agreed more work is required, ‘what you have so far, it’s a very positive story.’

Tetanus is otherwise known as lockjaw. Vaccines for it are routinely recommended for children and adults.

The new study focused on glioblastoma, which killed Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2009. Even after surgery to remove the tumor, it usually grows back and kills. The few drugs to treat these tumors have little effect. Half of patients die within about 15 months.

When diagnosed in New York in April 2006, ‘I was told I had two to three months to live,’ Sandra Hillburn recalled in a telephone interview.

But her family flew her to Duke in North Carolina because of its reputation for glioblastoma care, and she was offered a slot in the experimental study.

Cutting age treatment: Hillburn was one of 12 cancer patients who were given a tetanus shot as part of a new study conducted at the Duke University Medical Center

Cutting age treatment: Hillburn was one of 12 cancer patients who were given a tetanus shot as part of a new study conducted at the Duke University Medical Center

New approach: Doctors remove white blood cells from a patient and equip them with a chemical target found in the tumor. Then they return the cells to the patient's body, where they train the immune system to go after the cancer cells and kill them.

New approach: Doctors remove white blood cells from a patient and equip them with a chemical target found in the tumor. Then they return the cells to the patient’s body, where they train the immune system to go after the cancer cells and kill them.

‘I was very positive it would help,’ Hillburn said. ‘I said, “Sure, thank you.” I’m still saying thank you.’

In the years since then, she has attended her son’s wedding and gained five more grandchildren. Now she plays soccer with six grandsons in Ohio and Boston.

‘I look forward to seeing the wonderful people they’re becoming,’ she said.

She continues to visit Duke once a month for more cell injections. Last November, she celebrated her 100th treatment. Dr Sampson said it’s not clear why she has lived so long.

Hillburn credits the treatment and her medical care at Duke. She also cited the example of her father, who is a 97-year-old survivor of two kinds of cancer.

‘He just went about his life, and so I did the same thing,’ Hillburn said.

At age 68, Hillburn, plans to continue beating the odds for years to come.

‘I think I’m good for at least another 10 years,’ she told CBS News.

Living by example: Hillburn said her father is a 97-year-old survivor of two different types of cancer who continues to go about living his life, and she is doing the same

Living by example: Hillburn said her father is a 97-year-old survivor of two different types of cancer who continues to go about living his life, and she is doing the same

Sandy Hillburn poses for a photo in her apartment in Fort Lee, N.J., on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. In April 2006, when she was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most common and deadly kind of brain tumor, she recalled, "I was told I had two to three months to live." But she was offered a slot in an experimental study involving adding the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine to an experimental treatment for glioblastoma. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Looking ahead: She continues to visit Duke once a month for more cell injections and hopes to celebrate her 80th birthday

Positive outlook: Hillburn said when she was offered to be in the study, she was sure the experimental treatment would help 

Positive outlook: Hillburn said when she was offered to be in the study, she was sure the experimental treatment would help

The active senior says she is lucky because she can enjoy a normal life: play golf, take long walks every day and meet friends for lunch.

The new research work that has so dramatically prolonged Sandy Hillburn’s life is an example of a long-standing effort to harness the immune system to fight cancer, an approach called immunotherapy.

The specific strategy it used is called a dendritic-cell vaccine. Doctors remove white blood cells from a patient and equip them with a chemical target found in the tumor called cytomegalovirus, or CMV. Then they return the cells to the patient’s body, where they train the immune system to go after the cancer cells and kill them.

Not sitting still: The active senior says she is lucky because she can enjoy a normal life

Not sitting still: The active senior says she is lucky because she can enjoy a normal life

The 12 patients in the new study were treated with a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. All patients got an ordinary tetanus-diphtheria shot and then three injections of their own cells, spaced two weeks apart.

Then they were randomly divided into two groups. One group got a second, tiny dose of the tetanus-diphtheria vaccine at the place in the skin where the cells would be injected the next day. The other group got a dummy dose.

The idea behind the tetanus mini-shot was that the immune system “gets revved up in this particular area” so that “the body will be more excited about what’s to come,” Sampson said.

Cell injections continued monthly until brain scans showed tumor growing.

For the six patients who got the dummy shot, only one was still alive two years after diagnosis, surviving for about 3½ years. Still, overall results for this group indicated a small benefit from the cell injections alone, Batich said.

The results were far better for patients who got the mini-shot of tetanus. Four surpassed two years. One of them lived almost five years and another nearly six years.

The study was funded in part by a government grant to a business venture that is licensing the technology. Some of the authors have filed patents related to the tetanus strategy.


Colorado Rejects Physician Assisted Suicide: Time for NJ to do the same

Colorado against pas

Colorado Rejects Right-to-Die Legislation

Colorado lawmakers rejected a proposal to give dying patients the option to seek doctors’ help ending their lives, concluding a long day of emotional testimony from more than 100 people.

For one lawmaker who voted no, the issue was personal. Tearfully telling her colleagues she was a cancer survivor, Democratic Rep. Dianne Primavera recalled how a doctor told her she wouldn’t live more than five years.

But she found a doctor who gave her a different opinion.

“And he took me in his care, and I am here today 28 years later,” she said.

Doctors who opposed the measure told lawmakers earlier that allowing dying patients to seek life-ending medications from a physician closed off the possibility of a recovery when a prognosis can sometimes be wrong.

A House committee considering the bill voted 8-5 against it after dozens of people with serious illnesses and others who have seen relatives suffer packed the Colorado legislative hearing.

The vote comes as a handful of other states, including California and Pennsylvania, consider laws to allow the terminally ill get doctor-prescribed medication to die.

Five states allow patients to seek aid in dying: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico.

“This bill represents a very personal freedom that for some is taken away in the final stages of their illness,” said Democratic Rep. Joann Ginal, one of the bill sponsors. “Physicians give patients the best possible care. But there comes a time when a physician is no longer able to heal.”

Religious organizations opposed the measure, saying it facilitated suicide. But supporters argued that terminally ill patients should control when they die.

The story of Brittany Maynard last year spotlighted the debate over whether doctors should be able to prescribe life-ending medication to patients. Maynard, 29, moved from California to Oregon after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer so she could use that state’s law. She died Nov. 1.

Colorado’s bill was modeled after Oregon’s. It would have required dying patients to get two doctors to sign off on their oral and written requests to end their lives. The patients also would have needed to be found to be mentally competent and be able to administer the life-ending medication themselves.

One of the opponents to the bill, Carrie Ann Lucas, spoke on behalf of Not Dead Yet, a New-York based disability rights group.

Lucas uses a wheelchair and ventilator because of a neuromuscular disease. She told lawmakers that she worries the proposal would make it easy for a disabled person who is depressed to get medication from a doctor. Without her ventilator, Lucas told lawmakers, she would have only hours to live. And, she said, if she were to get depressed, she thinks she could go to a doctor who doesn’t know her well to get the drugs.

“And they probably would give me that lethal prescription instead of referring me to mental-health treatment that I would so desperately need,” said Lucas, 43.

Boulder resident David Hibbard, 77, told lawmakers that as a hospice physician for the past 15 years, he knows what to expect once his Parkinson’s disease and leukemia advance.

“I will be hunched over, either bed-bound or in a wheelchair,” he said, his hands shaking as he spoke. He would be unable to talk and feed himself, Hibbard told lawmakers.

“I don’t want to endure this scenario, and I certainly don’t want to have my family, my wife and my three children, have to endure watching me go through this rapid deterioration,” he said.

Lawmakers hearing the bill raised concerns about whether there are enough safeguards to prevent abuse, such a family member advocating for life-ending medications on behalf of a dying relative. Lawmakers also wondered what would happen if the medications are not used, and whether someone other than the patient could then take them.

One lawmaker, Rep. Jon Keyser, R-Morrison, said he worries Colorado could become a state known for “suicide tourism” if the bill passes.

The Colorado legislation was inspired by Charles Selsberg, 77, who urged legislators to take on the issue with an editorial published in The Denver Post shortly before his death a year ago. Selsberg died of ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

His daughter, Julie Selsberg, wiped away tears after the vote. She supported the bill.


Find Ivan Moreno on Twitter: http://twitter.com/IvanJourno



Wyoming Adds its Voice to Says No to Physician Assisted Suicide Legislation

WyomingCommittee tables Wyoming ‘Death with Dignity’ bill, recommends interim study

CHEYENNE — The Wyoming House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee unanimously voted to table legislation which would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medications to terminally ill patients.

The committee also recommended that an interim committee research the issue.

Proponents of the legislation argue that the legislation offers terminally ill patients a humane end-of-life option and a way to say goodbye to their families. Supporters also believe that they shouldn’t have to leave their home state to have the option available.

Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, called the vote the best possible outcome for House Bill 119.

“Several committee members pledged to do their best to get management council to assign it to a committee during the interim and do a study,” he said. “That’s probably more successful than it going to the floor and dying.”

The committee heard emotional testimony from Wyoming residents who would be affected by death with dignity legislation. Testifying before the committee, Alisha Loveland of Casper, told the story of her father-in-law. He was diagnosed with emphysema and knew it was a matter of time until the disease took his life. Taking matters into his own hands, he ended his life with a firearm.

Loveland told the committee that she and her husband had to clean up the aftermath.

“He had gotten to the point where he couldn’t walk even to his workshop. He knew he would eventually suffocate to death. He didn’t want to wait until the agonizing end,” she said.

“I don’t understand why we have to be medical refugees and go to another state to die. I don’t understand why we can’t stay in our own state and die in our own bed with loved ones around us.”

Rep. Dan Kirkbride, R-Chugwater, serves on the committee. He said that he would oppose death with dignity legislation on the house floor for spiritual reasons. He also said that legislation would put doctors in a bad place, calling the legislation a “slippery slope.” He said that health care professionals take an oath to provide the best possible care and that assisting patients dying would violate that oath.

“It would probably open some doors to some other things in society that we haven’t considered,” the legislator said.

HB119 is among more than 10 bills proposed in state legislatures across the country. Five states have death with dignity laws on the books. New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vermont currently allow the practice.

Jessica Grennan, of Missoula, Montana, is the national field director for Compassion and Choices, the nation’s largest death with dignity proponent. She said that while she is pleased that the committee recommended that the state look into the issue, she would like to see the legislature hasten their work on the matter.

“I’m pleased that we’re going to further the conversation. I wish the people who want this end-of-life option now in Wyoming…I’m sad that they have to wait,” Grennan said.

See How your State Senator Voted on S866, Gestational Carrier Bill

NJ Senate

Two Republicans, Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) andSenator Sam Thompson (R-12) voted with 19 Democratsto get to the 21 votes to pass this bill. See vote tally for3rd Final Passage below on this page to see how your Senator voted.The Assembly passed S866 on 5/14/15.  To see how your Two Assembly Members voted, View here

S866 Authorizes certain gestational carrier agreements.
Human Services


Identical Bill Number: A2648
Last Session Bill Number: S1599   (1R) A2646 (1R) Vitale, Joseph F.   as Primary Sponsor
Weinberg, Loretta   as Primary Sponsor
Allen, Diane B.   as Co-Sponsor
Stack, Brian P.   as Co-Sponsor

Session Voting:
Sen.    2/5/2015  –  3RDG FINAL PASSAGE   –  Yes {21}  No {13}Not Voting {6}    –

  Addiego, Dawn Marie – (R) Not Voting
  Bateman, Christopher (R ) – No
  Bucco, Anthony R. (R) – No
  Connors, Christopher J. (R ) – No
  Doherty, Michael J. (R) – No
  Greenstein, Linda R.(D) – Yes
  Kyrillos, Joseph M., Jr. (R) – No
O’Toole, Kevin J. (R) – No
  Pou, Nellie (D)- Yes
  Sacco, Nicholas J. (D) – Yes
  Singer, Robert W. (R)- No
  Sweeney, Stephen M.(D) – Yes
  Van Drew, Jeff – (D) Yes
  Whelan, Jim (D) – Yes

Allen, Diane B. (R ) – Not Voting
Beach, James (D) – Not Voting
Cardinale, Gerald (R ) – No
Cruz-Perez, Nilsa (D) – Yes
Gill, Nia H.(D)  – Yes
Holzapfel, James W.(R) – No
Lesniak, Raymond J. (D) – Yes
Oroho, Steven V. (R) – No
Rice, Ronald L.(D) – Yes
Sarlo, Paul A. (D)- Not Voting
Smith, Bob – (D) Yes
Thompson, Samuel D.(R) – Yes
Vitale, Joseph F. (D)- Yes
Barnes, Peter J., III  (D)- Yes
Beck, Jennifer (R ) – Yes
Codey, Richard J.(D) – Yes
Cunningham, Sandra B (D). – Yes
Gordon, Robert M. (D) – Not Voting
Kean, Thomas H., Jr. (R)- No
Madden, Fred H., Jr. (D)- Yes
Pennacchio, Joseph (R) – No
Ruiz, M. Teresa (D)- Yes
Scutari, Nicholas P. (D)- Yes
Stack, Brian P. (D) – Yes
Turner, Shirley K. – (D) No
Weinberg, Loretta – (D) Not Voting

Update: S866/A2648, Gestational Carrier bill Passes Narrowly in the Senate by a vote of 21-13. Immediate Action Needed to defeat it in the Assembly!


baby being pulledUpdate: The NJ Senate narrowly passed S866 on 2/5/15 by a vote of 21-13.  It was added to the Senate Board List for the 2/5/15 Voting Session at the last minute.  See how your Senator voted Here

It now moves to the Assembly.  Please call and email your 2 State Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on S866/A2648 immediately.  Please share this information with family and friends.

You can send a pre-written message to your 2 Assembly members by going to our Legislative Action Center.

Background on gestational carrier bill

The NJ Senate Health Committee released bill S866 on Monday, January 26, 2015 by a vote of 5-0 with two abstentions. It can be scheduled for a vote at any time before the full Senate. Governor Christie vetoed an identical bill in August of 2012.   Please contact your State Senator and two Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on S866/A2648.

Senate bill sponsors are Senators Joseph Vitale (D-19), Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Senator Brian Stack (D-33 ) and Senator Diane Allen (R-7).  Sponsors in the Assembly are Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri Huttle (D-37) and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20).   The bill passed previously in 2012 by only one vote in both the Senate and Assembly and was vetoed by Governor Christie.

The bill would further advance the profits of a lucrative fertility industry which remains unregulated and would add to the number of embryonic human beings created in IVF labs, experimented on and killed for research purposes and aborted through selective reduction.  The bill will legalize the commodification and exploitation of women, disregarding women’s health, turn pregnancy and the miracle of birth into just another commercial transaction and a baby into a product.  The legislation would permit payment of  “reasonable expenses” to the gestational “carrier,” including “living expenses during her pregnancy including payments for food, clothing, medical expenses, shelter and religious, psychological, vocational or similar counseling services during the pregnancy and during the period of postpartum.”  It also redefines the the meaning of “natural mother” and “biological father” in law, setting the stage for many complex legal, ethical and societal problems.

Read more about this issue here

Take Action:

Contact your two Assembly members and urge them to Vote No on S866/A2648. You can obtain their names and contact information by calling the Office of Legislative Services at 1-800-792-8630 during regular business hours.  You can also find their contact info by visiting the NJ Legislature’s website at the following link:  http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp

You can also send a pre-written email to them by going to our Legislative Action Center


Go to the tab that says “Legislation” on our website to send a pre-written message to your 2 Assembly Members from our Legislative Action Center on S866/A2648.