Opinion: Many concerns about NJ assisted suicide bill


May 25, 2018

By Edward Fleming - a board-certified family medicine physician practicing in Clinton.

As a New Jersey physician, I oppose bill A1504 – Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act - for many reasons. Among them are three important ones:

Firstly, proponents of legalizing assisted suicide say that it will be associated with a decrease of general, or unassisted suicide by offering a legal option. But this is incorrect. In states that have legalized assisted suicide, the rates of all-cause suicide go up, not just assisted suicide. This occurrence is known as “suicide contagion.” Suicide is a major health crisis, and if we legalize assisted suicide in New Jersey, we would only add to the problem. 

A study published in the Southern Medical Journal demonstrated that legalizing assisted suicide in other states has led to a rise in overall suicide rates — assisted and unassisted — in those states. The results of the study show that after controlling for various socioeconomic factors and other state-specific issues, assisted suicide states have a 6.3 percent increase in total suicide rates. And for individuals over 65 the increased suicide rate was found to be a staggering 14.5 percent. As stated in the study's conclusion, "there is no evidence that PAS is associated with significant reductions in non-assisted suicide for either older or younger people."

[Read the full article here]


Assisted suicide once again pushed by New Jersey lawmakers; opponents raise fears


March 12, 2018

Melissa Wilcox, as she describes herself, is a woman with “a big love for life.” The 57-year-old retired nurse from Hamilton Township has outlived a terminal lung cancer diagnosis by more than three years. She now spends her time training her Havanese dog to visit hospital patients and is looking forward to the birth of her second grandchild by the end of the month. [To read more click here]


Letter to Senator Sweeney

December 4, 2015

The Honorable Stephen M. Sweeney
Senate President
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086

Dear Senator Sweeney:

We are New Jersey residents and allied organizations, with deep expertise in disability rights, who oppose the provision of suicide by lethal prescription medication. Assembly Bill 2270 "the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act passed the NJ Assembly last year, carving out a loophole to protect physicians, relatives, and others who assist in a patient's suicide, but leaving patients, themselves, dangerously vulnerable.

Read more: Letter to Senator Sweeney

Say 'no' to assisted-suicide expansion


By John Kelly

Even as the Oregon-based Death with Dignity National Center and other assisted suicide proponents continue to insist that "there have been no efforts to expand either (Oregon or Washington's) law beyond their strict guidelines," here comes House Bill 3337, which would stretch the meaning of terminal illness from six months to 12 months.

Read more: Say 'no' to assisted-suicide expansion