New Jersey Assembly Committee Clears Death with Dignity Bill

Claudia Burzichelli, photo by Patti Sapone of The Star-Ledger
Claudia Burzichelli, photo by Patti Sapone of The Star-Ledger

After hearing two hours of testimony, the New Jersey Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee voted to move the proposed Death with Dignity bill to the full Assembly for a vote. Assembly Bill 3328, introduced by Representative John Burzichelli, would send a law emulating the Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity Acts to the voters of New Jersey.

Among the people testifying in favor of the bill was Claudia Burzichelli, the sister-in-law of Representative Burzichelli, who told the Assembly about family members who would have benefited from the proposed law. Then 18 months ago, she learned she too has a terminal illness, stage 4 lung cancer. She floored the committee with her testimony:

On the days when I have struggled to breathe or think about the stresses on my family, I would hope I might have more options than starving myself or taking my life in a violent way. I don’t know how I will truly feel if and when that time may come. But it comforts me there could be a another way, other options. I hope New Jersey will become a state that gives respect and dignity to those who are dying.

We too hope New Jersey will follow Oregon’s and Washington’s lead and enact the proposed Death with Dignity legislation to allow more end-of-life options. People in all states should have the freedom to decide what’s best for them when they’re dying.

Of the 11 members on the committee, seven voted for it, two against, and two members abstained from voting. Keep up-to-date with this and other legislative efforts to expand end-of-life options on our legislative updates page.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

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