Action: Contact your State Senator today and urge him or her to Vote No on S382, The Physician Assisted Suicide bill!
You can obtain your Senator’s contact information by calling 1-800-792-8630 or visiting the NJ Legislature webpage HERE
Opinion: The dangerously contagious effect of assisted-suicide laws
By Aaron Kheriaty November 20, 2015
Published in the Washington Post
Aaron Kheriaty is an associate professor of psychiatry and director of the medical ethics program at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine. This piece is adapted from a longer commentary that appeared in the Southern Medical Journal in October.
The debate over doctorassisted suicide is often framed as an issue of personal autonomy and privacy. Proponents argue that assisted suicide should be legalized because it affects only those individuals who — assuming they are of sound mind — are making a rational and deliberate choice to end their lives. But presenting the issue in this way ignores the wider social consequences. What if it turns out that the individuals who make this choice in fact are influencing the actions of those who follow?
Ironically, on the same day that Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the bill to legalize physicianassisted suicide in California last month, an important study was published by British scholars David Jones and David Paton demonstrating that legalizing assisted suicide in other states has led to a rise in overall suicide rates — assisted and unassisted — in those states. The study’s key findings show that, after controlling for demographic and socioeconomic factors and other statespecific issues, physicianassisted suicide is associated with a 6.3 percent increase in total suicide rates. These effects are greater for individuals older than 65 (for whom the associated increase was 14.5 percent). The results should not surprise anyone familiar with the literature on the social contagion effects of suicidal behavior. You don’t discourage suicide by assisting suicide.
Consider what social scientists call the Werther effect — the fact that publicized cases of suicide can produce clusters of copycat cases, often disproportionately affecting young people, who frequently use the same method as the original case. The name comes from Goethe’s 18thcentury novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” in which the protagonist, thwarted in his romantic pursuits, takes his own life with a pistol. After the publication of this immensely popular book, authorities in Germany noted a rash of suicides among young men using the same means. This finding has been replicated many times since in rigorous epidemiological studies, including research demonstrating this effect following cases of doctorassisted suicide.
Because this phenomenon is well validated, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the U.S. surgeon general have published strict journalistic guidelines for reporting on suicides to minimize this effect. It is demoralizing to note that these guidelines were widely ignored in the reporting of recent instances of assisted suicide, with the subject’s decision to end his or her life frequently presented in the media as inspiring and even heroic.
A related phenomenon influences suicide trends in the opposite direction, however; the socalled Papageno effect suggests that coverage of people with suicidal ideation who do not attempt suicide but instead find strategies that help them to cope with adversity is associated with decreased suicide rates. The name comes from a lovesick character in Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute,” whose planned suicide is averted by three child spirits who remind him of alternatives to death. The case of Valentina Maureira, a 14yearold Chilean girl who made a YouTube video begging her government for assisted suicide, illustrates the Werther and Papageno effects. Maureira admitted that the idea to end her life began after she heard about the case of Brittany Maynard, a 29 year old woman with terminal brain cancer who campaigned prominently for the right to assisted suicide before ending her life last year. But Maureira changed her mind after meeting another young person also suffering from the same disease, cystic fibrosis, who conveyed a message of hope and encouraged her to persevere in the face of adversity. With our laws, we can encourage vulnerable individuals in one of these two directions: the path of Werther or the path of Papageno.
Aside from publicized cases, there is evidence that suicidal behavior tends to spread person to person through social networks, up to three “degrees of separation” away. So my decision to take my own life would affect not just my friends’ risk of doing the same, but even my friends’ friends’ friends. No person is an island.
Finally, it is widely acknowledged that the law is a teacher: Laws shape the ethos of a culture by affecting cultural attitudes toward certain behaviors and influencing moral norms. Laws permitting physicianassisted suicide send a message that, under especially difficult circumstances, some lives are not worth living — and that suicide is a reasonable or appropriate way out.
This is a message that will be heard not just by those with a terminal illness but also by anyone tempted to think he or she cannot go on any longer. Debates about physicianassisted suicide raise broad questions about our societal attitudes toward suicide.
Recent research findings on suicide rates press the question: What sort of society do we want to become? Suicide is already a public health crisis. Do we want to legalize a practice that will worsen this crisis?
Note: The California Governor signed the Physician Assisted Suicide bill on Monday, October 5. Consequently, certain forces are now pushing for the NJ Senate to pass the NJ Physician Assisted Suicide bill (A2270/S382) this session. Please go to our Legislative section of the website and send an email message to your State Senator urging him/her to vote No on A2270/S382. Please also call their office and ask to speak with them to deliver the same message, Please do both even if you have done so multiple times before. Thank you.
My Mom Just Died Of Brain Cancer. Here’s Why She Opposed Assisted Suicide
By Mary Karner
October 6, 2015
I’ll admit it, I’m an adrenaline junkie. And judging from the plethora of new TV shows like “Trauma: Life in the ER” or “Code Black,” most of America is too. Except that’s my life. I’m a Trauma Nurse. I eat, sleep, and breathe trauma.
Every time I walk into work with a French Vanilla Swirl Latte from Dunkin’ Donuts in my hand, life and death are waiting for me. And up until this week I thought I’d seen just about everything. I’ve performed CPR till I thought my arms would fall off to keep blood pumping through a child’s body. I’ve administered life-saving medication to a patient having a stroke and seen the joy on his face when he regained his speech. I’ve had a patient fall through a ceiling onto another patient (I can’t even make that up.) I’ve held the hand of patients as they’ve taken their last breath, and I’ve hugged family members so tight I couldn’t breathe. I really thought I’d seen it all.
And then last week, my mom died. She had a glioblastoma brain tumor. I knew all about it, even cared for patients with her same diagnosis. I knew what was going to happen. But no matter how much I thought I was ready, I wasn’t. Death stings. And my beautiful, 52-year-old mother’s grave is freshly dug.
But my mom’s name was Dr. Maggie Karner. And she was the textbook definition of awesome. Don’t take my word for it, Google her. She devoted her entire life to helping others and spreading Christ’s beautiful gift of mercy for all. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard my mom speak more passionately then when she was talking about the word “mercy.” And that’s why my mom used her last days on Earth to campaign against a very dangerous use of that word. A “merciful death” some would call it, or a “right to die.”
My mom is most famous for a YouTube video that went viral entitled “A Letter to Brittany Maynard.” In the video my mom pleaded with Brittany, who had the same diagnosis, not to commit assisted suicide. Unfortunately, Brittany eventually chose to end her life, but my mom never stopped advocating for life. In her words, “How long will it be before the right to die quickly devolves into the duty to die? What does this mean for all who are elderly, or disabled, or just wondering if they’ve become a burden to the family?” Even while she was receiving chemotherapy, my mom spoke at the Connecticut state house to lobby against a “right to die” bill. The bill did not pass.
Difficulty Doesn’t Justify Suicide
That’s why my heart breaks tonight to learn the news that California’s governor has just signed legislation allowing residents of the state to take their own lives in the face of terminal illness. This makes five states in our nation allowing assisted suicide.
‘My brain may be cancerous, but I still have lots to contribute to society.’
Believe me, terminal illness sucks. There is no way to sugar coat that. It stole my mom from me along with so many others. But it also gave me something that I could never begin to describe, the opportunity to serve her. My family and I cared for her when she could no longer care for herself. We were her left arm when hers was paralyzed. And when that became too much, we had the distinct privilege of being able to visit her at her hospice facility during the last month of her life. She was not herself, and many times confused, but she could laugh. Even up until the day before she died. We laughed about seagulls that she thought were drones. We laughed about how much she loved chocolate and McFlurry’s from McDonald’s. We laughed about all the stupid things I did as a kid. And then when she could no longer laugh, we sang to her and we prayed with her.
My mom said it best in an op-ed in the Hartford Courant: “My brain may be cancerous, but I still have lots to contribute to society as a strong woman, wife and mother while my family can daily learn the value of caring for me in my last days with compassion and dignity.”
I’m here to say that she was right. No matter how hard it was and still is. She was so right. And the greatest honor of my life was to care for my mom in her last days. I hope and pray that her legacy will continue to inspire caring American voters to support those choosing to squeeze life for every drop that it has to give. Support hospice and palliative care programs that give true meaning to “death with dignity.” Let those fighting illness and disabilities know that they are precious, no matter what. They should never have to feel for a second that they might have a “duty to die” just because the option is available.
Mary Karner is a Registered Nurse currently working in Connecticut.
Despite passage by the House, Senate support falls one vote short.
AUGUSTA – Maine lawmakers have defeated a bill that would have allowed doctors to provide lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients.
Republican Sen. Roger Katz’s bill died Tuesday because the Senate and House failed to agree on the bill.
Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark, said he requested that lawmakers on the House Health & Human Development Committee keep the ‘Death with Dignity’ legislation in committee.
“We knew when we filed the bill that we did not yet have a critical mass of support, but what we also knew was that the bill and the issue needs to be heard…,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we will continue to learn about this issue and see whether, and how we wish to proceed.”
Baumbach said he has plans to introduce a bill that would establish a task force exploring end of life treatment and choices in Delaware.
“Hopefully we’ll over the next six months we’ll have public meetings to learn more and hear more from each other and find best practices across the country,” he added.
By tabling the bill, lawmakers on the committee can always bring it back for a vote until June 30, 2016.
Patients would have to have an incurable and irreversible disease expected to end their life within six months. Two doctors would have to confirm the diagnoses, according to the legislation.
They would also have to be informed of all alternatives, including hospice care, and a mental health consultation is required if either doctor suspects any mental illnesses, like depression.
There is a three-step process for patients to receive the life-ending medicine, according to the legislation. A patient would have to make the initial request, then there would be a 15-day wait, another request, then a two-day wait, and then the patient would receive the prescription pills. After ninety days the initial request would expire.
According to the legislation patients can rescind their request at any time.
Doctors and healthcare providers are also able to choose whether or not they participate and can opt-out as well. Doctors and healthcare providers are protected from any retaliation under the legislation, according to the bill.
Oregon, Vermont and Washington have similar laws. Court decisions in Montana and New Mexico also have allowed the practice in those states.
Contact Jon Offredo at (302) 678-4271, on Twitter @JonOffredo or firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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.
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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.
After a lengthy and emotional hearing Monday, lawmakers narrowly sent New Jersey’s Death with Dignity Act to its final vote in the Legislature.
The question now is whether the legislation allowing physicians to prescribe fatal medication to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live can get the backing needed in the Senate. It barely got the support to pass the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on Monday, by a vote of 5-3, but some lawmakers who were in favor of the legislation said they would vote against it in the full Senate.
In the past week the panel has heard testimony from medical organizations, religious groups, and those who have been given months to live and those who have witnessed the slow, painful death of a loved one. Advocates of the measure said it is a matter of civil liberties and provides a comforting outlet for those in pain. Critics have called it flawed policy tantamount to state-sanctioned homicide.
But after close to six total hours of lobbying on each side the past week, Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, summed up the panel’s responsibility this way: “This is really a highly personal issue, and very much a vote of conscience.”
Personal views do change, though. One of the bill’s original sponsors, Chairman Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, took his name off the legislation because, he said, “The more I thought about it, the more questions I had. I just thought it was best to say, ‘I’m not sure.’”
Still, Vitale cast a vote Monday in favor of releasing the bill to the full Senate, but without recommendation – meaning there is not overwhelming support in the majority.
It isn’t known if it has the 21 votes to clear the Senate, though Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, has come out in support of the bill. In a statement, he said he believes there “needs to be an honest discussion about this option.”
An Assembly version cleared last month with 41 votes, the minimum needed for a bill to pass. And even if the bill does pass the Senate, Governor Christie has said he does not support it.
Such a measure is contentious enough, but several speakers – and one committee member – suspected the bill was getting rammed through to the Senate.
“This is a very, very, very critical piece of legislation that deserves to have its time. It rushed through the Assembly in the dark of night. It’s rushing through the Senate in the dark of night,” said Sen. Bob Singer, R-Ocean. “What’s this urgency that it can’t get its fair share and can’t (let) everyone be heard?”
On Monday, several speakers expressed worry that the law, if passed, would become an option of first resort, not the last, for some.
“What we have is palliative care for the rich and death for the poor. Is that the road we’re really going down here?” said Alan Holdsworth, a member of the group Not Dead Yet.