Compassion and Choices of New Jersey, Inc. (formerly End-of-Life Choices of New Jersey, Inc. and The Hemlock Society of New Jersey) is a non-profit, educational organization incorporated in New Jersey to support the right of terminally ill adult persons to death with dignity. Contributions to it are tax-deductible to the limits established by law. C&C-NJ is the New Jersey Chapter of Compassion & Choices , a national organization of similar goals.
Physician-Aided Suicide (or Right To Die)
being considered in New Jersey Legislature
In January 2013, Assemblypersons John Burzichelli and Timothy Eustace sponsored The Compassionate Care Act for the Terminally Ill, A3328. A public hearing was held by the Health and Senior Services Committee on Thursday 7 February, after which the Committee voted 7-2-2 to send the bill to the full Assembly for its consideration, where the bill died for lack of further action.
Then in February 2014 Burzichelli and Eustace sponsored a replacement bill, Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, A2270, which was voted out of the Health and Senior Services Committee in June by a vote of 7-4. This bill was passed by the full Assembly in November 2014. A summary of the bill is here , and the full text is here and here .
An identical Senate version of the same bill, S382, sponsored by Senators Nicholas Scutari and Stephen Sweeney, was voted out of the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee by a vote of 5-3-1 on 15 December 2014. But it was never passed by the Senate.
Where We Are Now
A new version of the same bill, The Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, was passed in an 8-2 vote by the Assembly's Appropriations Committee on Thursday, 6 October 2016. On Thursday 20 October, the bill went to the full Assembly, and was passed by a 41-28 vote. On Thursday 3 November it was passed on a 5-3-1 vote by the Senate Health Committee, and now it will go to the full Senate. If it is passed there, it will go to the Governor, who has not expressed enthusiasm for it. Watch for further information about the next step.
There is still opposition to this important legislation, so readers should use Compassion & Choice's online tool, available here , to send a letter to your Senator. Encouraging letters from people across the state have the potential to go a long way in convincing members to support the bill. Get involved today to let them know medical aid in dying is important to you. If possible, include a personal story in your message -- it's impossible to overstate the resonance of personal testimony when appealing to lawmakers.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has come out in support of aid in dying. His video can be watched here .
A day-by-day description of events at the suit brought in April 2011 by the state of Arizona against Dr. Larry Egbert and Frank Langsner, appearing originally on the ERGO news list , is here . Special thanks to Derek Humphry and Faye Girsh for permission to reproduce these documents here.
Our General Principles
C&C-NJ supports the principle that all adults should be permitted to retain control of the means and timing of their deaths, rather than be required to endure unnecessary suffering.
We support the right of patients to refuse artificial life-sustaining procedures that only prolong the process of dying, including the tube administration of food and fluids.
We also support the use, upon request, of a sufficient quantity of medications to alleviate pain, even if such quantity may hasten death.
We discourage irrational suicide for any emotional reasons in the absence of a terminal illness, and we support the work of suicide prevention organizations.
We endorse home-care and hospice programs which offer compassionate medical, nursing and social work services to dying patients.
We believe that those who feel that death must come without physician assistance should be free to follow that creed, whether they be doctors or patients. But they should not be free to force their views, their religious convictions, or their philosophies on all other members of a democratic, multi-religioned society, nor should they be free to compel those whose values differ from theirs to die painful, protracted, and agonizing deaths.
Join Us!If you support our goals, we invite you to join and work with us! For more information, send us an e-mail .
About Compassion & Choices USA
Compassion & Choices is one of the most prominent organizations in the United States involved in the movement to change attitudes about freedom for the dying.
Compassion & Choices has over 30,000 members in about 70 chapters and community groups across the nation. Members have access to programs that help them and their loved ones examine the full range of their end-of-life options, including the option of hastening the dying process. Where the law is inadequate to provide for end-of-life choice, Compassion & Choices works through the democratic process to change the law.
Compassion & Choices is a non-profit, charitable, Section 501(c)(4) "action" organization and welcomes non-deductible gifts and bequests. (An affiliate, the Hemlock Foundation, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization. Contributions to it are fully tax-deductible to the limits established by law.)
Read more about the history of Compassion & Choices here .