Trenton, New Jersey (PRWEB) June 27, 2014
In a stunning defeat today for proponents of assisted suicide, the New Jersey assisted suicide bill A2270 was pulled from the floor and tabled until September for lack of votes. Not Dead Yet applauded New Jersey disability advocates as press reports credited disability rights opposition for the defeat.
“The bill was shown to be extremely controversial,” said Marilyn Golden of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. “It has bipartisan opposition and is widely opposed by a diversity of groups, including the disability community.”
In the June 26, 2014 Star-Ledger postmortem, Statehouse reporter Susan K Livio reported that disability advocates “turned out in force” to testify at the bill’s hearing.
“We have a lot of reasons for concern about legalizing assisted suicide,” said Diane Coleman of Not Dead Yet. “One of our biggest concerns, given the rising tide of abuse of elders and people with disabilities, is that no law can prevent assisted suicide coercion behind closed doors."
Reports from the state house had sponsors two votes short of a majority. The bill has been shelved until September, when Assemblyman John Burzichelli hopes to bring it back.
“The more legislators learn about the details, the more they turn against an assisted suicide bill," said Not Dead Yet regional director John Kelly, a New Jersey native. Kelly is also director of Second Thoughts Massachusetts.
“We are 4 for 4 this session - New Jersey joins New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in having ‘second thoughts’ about assisted suicide,” Kelly added. “We also know that we need to be prepared for ongoing advocacy, and we’re ready for that.”
Kelly joined disability rights advocates from New Jersey along with the Medical Society of New Jersey and faith-based groups in bringing the opposition to the legislature.