New Jersey Should Reject Assisted Suicide Bill


( – I am a person with Cerebral Palsy and clinical depression. I’ve experienced life-threatening diabetic comas twice in the past few years. I have contemplated suicide throughout my life. I have been a disability advocate for over 30 years.

During that time, I have fought for a better life in the community for hundreds of people who were committed to state institutions and nursing facilities. Those I have served are vulnerable because, like people who are seriously ill, they must rely on others to bathe, to dress, to eat, to travel—in short, to live.

Currently the New Jersey Legislature is considering assisted suicide legislation known as A1504. Proponents claim this is a compassionate law that is limited in scope and has a number of safeguards. That characterization is not only inaccurate; it fails to recognize some very serious problems in both its language and implementation.

The New Jersey bill is modeled after the law enacted in Oregon in 1997 and, since then, a generation of disability rights advocates have been trying to sound the alarm over this horribly dangerous and discriminatory law. CONTINUE