HealthDay News — Terminally ill adults in New Jersey will soon be allowed to seek medical help to end their lives.
The new law takes effect on Aug. 1 and allows adults with a prognosis of six months or less to live to get a prescription for life-ending, self-administered pills that can be taken at home, CNN reported. Before a prescription is given, a psychiatrist or psychologist must confirm that the patient has the mental capacity to make the decision to end his or her life.
“Allowing residents with terminal illnesses to make end-of-life choices for themselves is the right thing to do,” Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement, CNN reported. “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.”
New Jersey is the ninth jurisdiction in the United States to allow physician-assisted suicide. The others are California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Hawaii, Montana, and the District of Columbia, CNN reported. Nineteen other states are considering physician-assisted suicide bills.