Terminally ill patients in Oregon turned to their state for health care but were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead...


The "Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act" passed the full Assembly in October, 2016 and was released from the Senate Health Committee in early November.  It can be added at any time for a Senate voting session.  


Please tell NJ State Senator Bateman to oppose A2451/S2474. To send him an email, click here and follow the link that says "ELECTRONIC MAIL - Contact Your Legislator(s)". To view a copy of the letter I sent, click here.

Or you can use the template letter provided by NJ Right To Life. Then scroll down and click on the "No Assisted Suicide" link.  

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.  A number of events occurred on the 13th of the month.  In addition to writing our letters, let's storm the heavens with our prayers to stop this bill from being passed.  One day, it could be your parent, or even you, who is affected if this bill should pass.


Did you know? Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a "chilling" corruption of medical ethics.  

For more details, read my letter -- click here.


It's interesting to note that the legislation was originally called the "Death with Dignity" Act (NJ Senate Bill S382) and now it's labeled as the "Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act".  Perhaps we should acknowledge what it REALLY is, the "LEGALIZED SUICIDE FOR THE TERMINALLY ILL ACT"...  

The potential for abuse is staggering.  Those who are terminally ill may feel pressured to end their lives because they are no longer productive and have become a "burden" to their family members.  The terminally ill who are elderly and may have limited mental capacity may have the decision taken out of their hands by guardians who may make their decisions based on their own personal agenda rather than what's in the best interest of the patient.  

From what I understand, the physician provides the drug that will kill a person, but is not necessarily present at the time a person takes it. The person can die alone, or SUFFER from complications.  

According to one web site,

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) wrote in its Mar. 9, 2006 "Eighth Annual Report on Oregon's Death with Dignity Act":

"In 2005, 39 physicians wrote a total of 64 prescriptions for lethal doses of medication... Thirty-two of the 2005 prescription recipients died after ingesting the medication... In addition, six patients who received prescriptions during 2004 died in 2005 as a result of ingesting the prescribed medication, giving a total of 38 PAS [physician-assisted suicide] deaths during 2005. One 2004 prescription recipient, who ingested the prescribed medication in 2005, became unconscious 25 minutes after ingestion, then regained consciousness 65 hours later. This person did not obtain a subsequent prescription and died 14 days later of the underlying illness (17 days after ingesting the medication)...

Complications were reported for three patients during 2005; two involved regurgitation, and, as noted above, one patient regained consciousness after ingesting the prescribed medication. None involved seizures (see Complications, page 13). Fifty percent of patients became unconscious within five minutes of ingestion of the lethal medication and the same percentage died within 26 minutes of ingestion. The range of time from ingestion to death was from five minutes to 9.5 hours."  

The debate was discussed:  
Do Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Ensure a Good Death?

Russel Ogden, MA, Criminology Instructor at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University, wrote in a Dec. 1997 Policy Options article " Oregon 's Measure 16: A Bitter Pill":

"There is paucity of research into the dosages and types of drugs necessary to cause death and no pharmaceutical company has developed a sure-fire suicide pill... In the course of my own research I have heard horrific stories of patients taking massive quantities of drugs that have been fatal with other persons and yet they have either survived or suffered through lingering deaths. Risks include vomiting the drugs, coma, psychosis and even de-cerebration where the patient is brain dead but still breathing. Sometimes these protracted deaths elicit friends or partners to resort to smothering with pillows or asphyxiation with plastic bags. One physician reported to me that he took the recourse of holding shut the mouth and nostrils of a comatose patient."

The above quotations and further commentary can be found at:

My own mother had to endure an extended hospital stay because of a reaction to the medication she was given which impaired her ability to recover.  She lived in another state and I thank God that my sister was there to be her advocate and she was ultimately able to recover from the ordeal and return home.  

It's bad enough that innocent lives of children are destroyed because the parents are selfish and irresponsible (Roe v Wade).  Patients who are in excruciating pain due to their illness and choose to take medications to alleviate their suffering is one thing, but to propose "Death with dignity" laws that tell them "it's OK to kill yourself" is just as irresponsible. We take away the dignity and self-esteem of the terminally ill by conveying the message that their life is worthless.  We take away their dignity and self-esteem by forcing "heroic measures" to prolong their suffering.  We allow all sorts of legally acceptable abuse when children can influence their parents into thinking "this is the best way".  Where is the dignity in this?  

According to the statement of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Services Committee on 12/15/14 (3rd reprint):  

"When a patient makes an initial oral request for medication under the bill's provisions, the attending physician is required to provide the patient with information about the risks, probable results, and alternatives to taking the medication; recommend that the patient participate in a consultation concerning additional treatment opportunities, palliative care, comfort care, hospice care, and pain control options; and refer the patient to a health care professional who is qualified to discuss those alternative care and treatment options.  The patient may choose, but is not required, to participate in such consultation... 

The attending physician is required to refer the patient to a consulting physician, in order to obtain confirmation of the attending physician's diagnosis, and both the attending physician and the consulting physician must verify that the patient is making an informed decision in relation to their request."

How can the patient make an informed decision if he or she is not required to participate in the consultation?  It sounds to me like a legalized CYA.  


"Any person who coerces or exerts undue influence on a patient to request medication under the bill... will be guilty of a crime of the third degree...  The bill provides immunity from civil and criminal liability, and from professional disciplinary action, for any action that is undertaken in compliance with the bill..."  

My question is, who is the patient's advocate TO ENSURE THIS WON'T HAPPEN?  I don't see any language in this bill to explain what steps will be taken to protect the patient.  


1.  Call and email your State Senator immediately and urge him/her to Vote No on A2451/S2474.

2. Call and email Governor Christie and urge him to veto A2451/S2474 if it reaches his desk.

To read my letter to the Senator, click here.

FYI... There are 5 States That Have Legalized Physician-Assisted Suicide:  

4 states (CA*, OR, VT, and WA) legalized physician-assisted suicide via legislation  
*California's law will take effect 90 days after the state legislature adjourns the special session on healthcare, which likely will not be until Jan. 2016 at the earliest.

1 state (MT) has legal physician-assisted suicide via court ruling

45 States and DC consider assisted suicide ILLEGAL

38 states have laws prohibiting assisted suicide
3 states (AL, MA, and WV) and the District of Columbia prohibit assisted suicide by common law
4 states (NV, NC, UT, and WY) have no specific laws regarding assisted suicide, may not recognize common law, or are otherwise unclear on the legality of assisted suicide.

0 Federal Laws on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

The federal government and all 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit euthanasia under general homicide laws. The federal government does not have assisted suicide laws. Those laws are generally handled at the state level.

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