NJ lawmakers approve bill allowing medically assisted suicide

N.J. state capitol
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By KYW Newsradio 1060
NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — Gov. Phil Murphy says he plans to sign a bill passed by the legislature Monday that would give terminally ill patients the right to end their own lives. 

The bill allows a terminal patient given six months to live the right to ask a doctor to prescribe a life-ending medication.  Assemblyman Jay Webber, Republican from Morris County, urged a "no" vote.

"A bill like this, when it passes, would create a new class of citizens among us. A class of citizens who can be killed by another citizen," Webber said. 

The bill's sponsor, Gloucester County Democrat John Burzichelli, countered that ultimately, the decision would be made by only the patient. 

"It would be up to the person whether they want to fill the prescription. Then it would be up to the person if they want to ingest the prescription. Only that person can make that decision," Burzichelli said. 

Gov. Murphy in a statement said allowing terminally ill people the dignity to make end-of-life decisions is the right thing to do.

New Jersey would become the eighth state to allow doctor-assisted suicide.