New Jersey Governor Signs Law Allowing Terminally Ill Patients to End Their Lives

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that will allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives, April 12, 2019. (New Jersey Office of the Governor)
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that will allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives, April 12, 2019. (New Jersey Office of the Governor)

New Jersey has become the eighth jurisdiction to allow for terminally ill patients to end their own lives.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act on Friday, which will allow “New Jersey adults to end their lives peacefully, with dignity, and at their own discretion,” according to a press release from the governor’s office. The law will go into effect on Aug. 1.

The law will permit terminally ill adult patients living in New Jersey the right to obtain and self-administer medication to end their lives, according to the release. In order for the patient to get the medication, doctors must determine that he or she has a life expectancy of six months or less, has the capacity to make health care decisions, and is acting voluntarily.

Other measures would require patients to make two requests and also give them the chance to rescind their request.

In a statement, Murphy described giving residents the choice to end theirs lives as “the right thing to do.”

“By signing this bill today, we are providing terminally ill patients and their families with the humanity, dignity, and respect that they so richly deserve at the most difficult times any of us will face,” Murphy said.

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SOURCE: Julia Jacobo, ABC News