New Jersey approves ‘Right to die’ bill for terminally ill patients

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TRENTON, New Jersey – New Jersey’s governor says he will sign a bill approved by the state legislature that would allow patients with six months or less to live to self-administer life-ending medication.

State lawmakers passed the “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act” Monday.

“This measure is about dignity,” Murphy said in a statement. “Allowing terminally ill and dying residents the dignity to make end-of-life decisions according to their own consciences is the right thing to do. I look forward to signing this legislation into law.”

New Jersey will join six other states and the District of Columbia that have similar laws once the bill is signed.

The bill got some attention in New Jersey in 2014 around the time that 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, who was terminally ill with brain cancer, was in the national spotlight.

Maynard drew news coverage after publicizing that she and her husband, Dan Diaz, moved to Portland, Oregon, from Northern California so she could use the Oregon law to end her life on her own terms.

The legislation includes several measures that legislators called “safeguards.” They include requiring patients to make two requests, along with a chance to rescind the request.

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