By Dave Andrusko
As National Right to Life’s Department of Medical Ethics has repeatedly warned, pro-assisted suicide forces have been emboldened by their victory in California.
Having been barely staved off in 2015, Compassion and Choices is back at it again in New Jersey.
Assembly Bill 2270, “the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act,” passed the state Assembly in 2014. Subsequently, the New Jersey Senate Health Committee voted to release the bill to the Senate floor but “without recommendation.” However a final vote was not taken.
But possibly as early as tomorrow, the state Senate could take up a companion bill to Assembly Bill 2270/S382 in the final days of the lame duck session.
The flaws and inadequacies of the measure are numerous–and typical.
As the New Jersey Alliance against Physician-Assisted Suicide explained last month in a letter to Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney
S382 would permit doctors and pharmacists to prescribe and provide lethal-dose barbiturates (or other lethal drugs) to anyone diagnosed with a disease likely to result in death within the next six months–whether with, or without, treatment, is not specified.
The bills are poorly thought-out and dangerous. S382 will reinforce the incorrect but widespread assumption that the only way to die a peaceful, pain-free death is by ingesting a fatal dose. As even the most ardent promoters of physician-assisted suicide acknowledge, in the words of David Leven, the Executive Director of NY Compassion & Choices, “Pain is not the issue.”
The letter went on to explain
Assisted suicide is also pushed as a way to avoid the so-called “indignity” of being disabled. Already, suicide is most common among aging, white men: the target audience for these assisted-suicide bills, and the population most likely to fear and abhor the idea of becoming dependent on care. We in the disability-rights community recognize the bill’s unsubtle nudge toward suicide as “honorable” and preferable to living with any degree of disability. These are honor killings, and the law should not facilitate them.
It is urgent that you make contact with your legislators immediately and urge them to vote NO on A2270/S382.
You can find a list of legislators here.