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TRENTON, New Jersey, January 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Religious groups and New Jersey’s right to life organization are issuing warnings about an “aid-in-dying” bill delayed by legislators late last year that one leader said might be voted on this month.

“The Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act [S382,] which would legalize physician-assisted suicide, may be listed for a vote in the State Senate in January,” said Donna Goodwin, Respect Life Ministry Coordinator for the Diocese of Trenton. Addressing the March for Life, which is taking place on January 22, Goodwin said that “The March for Life in Washington and the Rally for Life in Trenton play important roles in the Diocese of Trenton's work to promote human dignity at every stage of life. The march gives encouragement to those supporters of the pro-life movement who may feel they are the only ones who hold pro-life views.”

“The march and the rally allow our legislators both on the state and national level to see the large numbers of their constituents who care passionately about human rights and the right to life from conception to natural death,” continued Goodwin. “This is especially important right now in Trenton where the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act [S382,] which would legalize physician-assisted suicide, may be listed for a vote in the State Senate in January.”

Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews last year that she and her group's allies — as well as “individuals who were battling illness and disease but who were adamantly opposed to the bill” — testified against the bill in December.

“Witnesses in opposition overwhelmingly outnumbered witnesses in favor,” said Tasy. “The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-3, [but] was released from committee without recommendation. [This] means that members voted to release but reserve their right to change their vote when it comes before the full Senate.”

Tasy said that the bill would force taxpayers to fund assisted suicide “through Medicaid and, most likely, the state health exchange via Obamacare.”

Avraham Sharaby, an Orthodox Jew who opposes the assisted suicide bill, wrote in December that “These laws are supposedly written with safeguards, but we see clearly that these safeguards are not worth the paper they are written on. In NJ, assisted suicide bill patients are not required in most situations to get a psychological examination before getting approval for assisted suicide.”

“Furthermore, this bill does not allow a pharmacist to be exempted from filling the poison prescription, forcing a pharmacist to become an abettor to this murderous act (the law in NJ mandates pharmacists fill all prescriptions regardless of religious objections). The assisted bill does not have an investigation process to confirm that the patients actually want to commit suicide; all that is necessary to confirm that fact is the signatures of witnesses that the patient wants and is capable of making that decision,” continued Sharaby.

“Finally, in perhaps the most grievous and sinister plot of all, the bill allows for someone who works for the patient’s medical insurance company to act as both witnesses,” he said, also noting that “just a quick glance at other countries that are further along down this road than we are, and we see that assisted suicide eventually leads to outright euthanasia, and the worst forms of it, at that….It was reported years ago, that one in four doctors in the Netherlands admitted to killing a patient without the patient’s explicit permission, and in Belgium, 32 percent of patients who were killed did not give explicit permission. We further see how the laws keep expanding—recently Belgium passed child euthanasia, and a canton in Switzerland voted to force all nursing homes to have a special room for people to be killed.”

Groups that oppose the aid-in-dying bill include retirement organizations, disability rights advocates, religious groups, and medical groups, among many others, though a survey of New Jersey residents in early 2015 found nearly two-thirds of respondents supported the legislation.

Contact:

Gov. Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-6000
Email: Use this form.

Contact information for state senators is available here.

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