What to Know
- A lawsuit challenging New Jersey's year-old “aid in dying” law has been dismissed.
- The law allows only patients who are terminally ill and have a prognosis of six months or less to live to acquire medication to end their lives. It also allows doctors and pharmacists to refuse to cooperate with a terminally ill patient’s request to die.
- Critics had argued the law “legalizes murder.”
A lawsuit challenging the right to die law in New Jersey was dismissed.
The “aid in dying” law enacted a year ago that allows terminally ill patients to seek life-ending drugs survived its latest court challenge, NJ.com reported Thursday.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy had signed the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act into law in April 2019.
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The law allows only patients who are terminally ill and have a prognosis of six months or less to live to acquire medication to end their lives. It also allows doctors and pharmacists to refuse to cooperate with a terminally ill patient’s request to die.
But medical professionals who exercise that right are under an obligation to relinquish the patient’s file so another physician can be found, according to the ruling issued Tuesday by state Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy.
Rabbi and geriatrician Yosef Glassman of Bergen County had argued the law “legalizes murder.”
But the state Attorney General's Office asked the court to dismiss the case because neither Glassman or a pharmacist who joined the lawsuit had the proper legal standing to challenge the law that did not affect them.
The “plaintiffs suffer no harm. Nothing in the act requires (the) plaintiffs to participate as patients, physicians or pharmacists,” according to the decision. “Their deeply felt religious, ethical or professional objections to the act do not suffice to establish standing.”
Glassman’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
The law has been in effect in the state since Aug. 27.