On 12 April, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation allowing euthanasia for terminally ill patients. The bill will take effect on 01 August 2019.
The law makes it possible for terminal adult patients who are “conscious and in possession of all their mental faculties” to obtain medication to end their lives. As “safeguards”, two doctors must confirm that the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less and the patient must make three requests, two oral and one written, in front of two witnesses. However, the law does not require that the suffering be unbearable, nor that the disease be incurable.
Diane Coleman, President of “Not Dead Yet”, an association that defends the rights of the elderly, sick, or disabled, pointed out that “there is nothing in the law that protects patients from medical errors or from being forced by families or insurance companies to die prematurely, no anything that can prevent abuse, including the possibility that an heir or caregiver administering the treatment”.