In a stunningly rapid reversal of years of stymied attempts, a bicameral vote of the New Jersey Senate ( by a vote of 21-16) and House (41-33) in passing on Monday, March 25, 2019 the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, which Governor Phil Murphy has promised to sign into law. In previous years, with the threat of a gubernatorial veto by Gov Chris Christie, the legislative efforts to introduce a bill did not proceed to a vote in both chambers.
New Jersey thus becomes the 8th US jurisdiction with legislative language authorizing and regulation MAID: NJ, VT, DC, OR, WA, CA, CO and HI, with Montana having MAID available pursuant to the Montana Supreme Court’s 2009 Baxter v Montana case. Increasingly, the stale and often vapid arguments of MAID opponents are failing to convince legislators, given the 22 years of very successful utilization in the pioneer state of Oregon, In New Jersey, several legislators cited personal experiences with loved ones as opening their eyes to the need for this bill for the sake of all terminal New Jerseyans.
We can only hope that the NC legislature will be as forward thinking in providing North Carolinians the same options as enjoyed by some 20% of the US population. It should not continue to be the case that North Carolinians who are entering the terminal phase of their disease feel obligated to establish residency in the closest state with legalized, accessible MAID to achieve their End of Life wishes.https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2019/03/25/new-jersey-lawmakers-approve-aid-in-dying-bill-murphy-says-hell-sign-it-932789
Ed Tiryakian, J.D., MBA, founded Dying Right NC in 2015 and is its Executive Director. He previously worked in international banking in Asia before retiring to his native NC.He believes End of Life issues are one of society’s most pressing challenges as we all live longer and the medicalization of the dying process continues to conflict with the individual’s right to choose his or her end.