Two New Jersey court decisions handed down today reinstated a law allowing physicians to prescribe medication to assist terminally ill patients in committing suicide.
The law went into effect August 1st but was delayed for 15 days due to a Frum man’s lawsuit.
The man obtained a temporary restraining order which prevented the New Jersey assisted suicide act from going into effect. So although it technically went into effect August 1, with the 15 day waiting period, no one could ‘commit suicide’ until the 16th.
Smith and Associates stated: The Act (which should be more properly called the “New Jersey Physician-Assisted Suicide Act”), provides for, among other things, the self-infliction of death by way of fatal “medication”, i.e. pharmaceutical poisons; compelling even non-participating physicians to transfer patients’ medical records for the purpose of furthering the Statute’s aims against many of such physicians’ beliefs and duties; allowing for the disparate treatment of patients; allowing for the transfer of unused fatal pharmaceuticals to persons not otherwise authorized; and amending the statutory duty to otherwise warn of harm to others.
Moreover, the Act provides that in advance of the effective date of August 1, 2019, no fewer than six (6) regulatory bodies were to have issued required rules and regulations. However, no such required regulations or rules have been issued, rendering the entire death process wholly unregulated.
Additionally, his lawyer says “He feels it opposes his rights as a doctor, his obligations as a doctor to heal and his religious viewpoints, which is that he does not want to participate in an assisted suicide,” said E. David Smith, Dr. Glassman’s attorney.
Then, New Jersey’s highest court refused to overturn a judge’s order preventing implementation of the state’s physician-assisted suicide law, sending it to the Appellate Division for a ruling on whether the measure should remain.
The Supreme Court said in an order last Tuesday it would not lift last week’s temporary restraining order issued against the “suicide law” which would have allowed physicians to prescribe life-ending medications to certain terminally ill patients so that they may end their own lives.
Glassman – a practicing member of the Jewish faith – argued that the law violates his religious and moral beliefs.
Today, NorthJersey reports, a state appellate court said agencies and regulatory boards did not need to establish rules before the law could go into effect. That reversed an earlier ruling on Aug. 14 by Superior Court Judge Paul Innes in Mercer County, who had put the law on hold primarily based on concerns that the rules were not yet in place.
“Had the Legislature intended the Act to remain in a period of perpetual quiescence, thereby keeping all interested parties in limbo until a half-dozen administrative bodies decided to engage in their rulemaking functions, it could have clearly said so,” reads Tuesday’s appellate court order, written by Judge Arnold L. Natali Jr. “In using permissive, as opposed to mandatory language, it is clear that the Legislature did not intend that implementation of the Act await rulemaking.”
The lawsuit will move forward in Superior Court