To Be or Not to Be – Assisted Suicide aka Death with Dignity

Assisted Suicide US MapAmerica is such a large country; it makes sense to me that the individual states differ.

We even have a name for when state and federal laws disagree called the supremacy clause, which is part of article VI of the Constitution.

When we think of state laws and the differences between the states, we usually consider taxes, abortion and gun laws. We now have new differentiators in the way of marijuana and death with dignity. We’re all aware of how the marijuana laws are changing across the nation, but most people are unaware of the assisted suicide trend. And things are a-changin’.

Terminally ill adults in New Jersey will now be able to ask for medical help to end their lives.  Governor Phil Murphy signed the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act and the law went into effect August 1, 2019.

The NJ law allows adults with a prognosis of six months or less to live to get a prescription for life-ending medication. This make New Jersey the 9th state/jurisdiction to allow physician-assisted suicide (the others are California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Hawaii, Montana and the District of Columbia). If you notice, Florida is not on that list.

The law requires a psychiatrist or psychologist to determine that the patient has the mental capacity to make the decision.  The prescription is a series of self-administered pills that can be taken at home.

“Allowing residents with terminal illnesses to make end-of-life choices for themselves is the right thing to do,” said Governor Murphy in a statement. “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.”

The bill narrowly passed in the Senate, and some who voted against it are apprehensive about its effects.  “The bill has lasting ramifications and lots of loopholes,” said Republican Sen. Robert Singer. “We are so concerned about opioids, and not trusting doctors with opioids.  But now we are willing to trust them with this.”

NJ has tried passing versions of this bill since 2014, but this was the first time the bill went to a vote in the senate.  Nineteen other states are considering physician-assisted suicide bills. Florida is not on that list yet…

Portrait of Odelia Goldberg, Esq.

With over 50 years of combined experience, our probate, estate planning, real estate, elder law and asset protection attorneys provide peace of mind for our clients throughout South Florida.

Florida Bar Logo Broward County Bar Logo NYSBA Logo United States Patent and Trademark Office Logo Broward Attorney Real Estate Council Logo

Schedule a Consultation

1270 SW 26th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, Florida   33312

Phone: 954-832-0885


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

The Law Offices of Odelia Goldberg Logo White

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
© 2024 The Law Offices of Odelia Goldberg. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Web Development by IWD Marketing