Monday, March 12, 2018

New Jersey Press Release


Dore: "The bill seeks to legalize ‘aid in dying,’ a traditional euphemism for euthanasia.”

“The bill is sold as assuring individual choice and control. The bill is instead stacked against the individual and a recipe for elder abuse.”

Contact: Margaret Dore
(206) 697-1217

Trenton, NJ – Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, which has fought assisted suicide/euthanasia legalization efforts in many states and now New Jersey, made the following statement in connection with today’s legislative hearing on a bill seeking to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in that state. (A 1504, hearing Monday, 03/12/16, noon).

“There is a bill pending before the New Jersey Assembly, which seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia as those terms are traditionally defined,” said Dore. “The bill describes these practices as ‘aid in dying,’ but there is no requirement that patients be dying. Indeed, ‘eligible’ persons may have years, even decades, to live.”

Dore said, "The bill is sold as assuring individual choice and control. The bill is instead stacked against the patient and a recipe for elder abuse.” Dore elaborated, “The patient's heir, who will financially benefit from the patient's death, is allowed to actively participate in signing the patient up for the lethal dose. After that, no doctor, not even a witness, is required to be present at the death. Even if the patient struggled, who would know?” Dore concluded, “The bill creates the perfect crime.”

The bill seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia for people who are "terminal," which is defined as a doctor’s prediction of less than six months to live. In real life, such persons can have
years, even decades, to live.

“Doctors can be wrong about life expectancy, sometimes way wrong," said Dore. "This is due to actual mistakes and the fact that predicting life expectancy is not an exact science. A few years ago, I was met at the airport by a man who at age 18 had been diagnosed with ALS and given 3 to 5 years to live, at which time he was predicted to die by paralysis. His diagnosis had been confirmed by the Mayo Clinic. When he met me at the airport, he was 74 years old. The disease progression had stopped on its own.”

Dore said, “The bill says that ‘[a]ny action in accordance with the provisions of [the bill] shall not constitute ... assisted suicide, mercy killing [euthanasia], or homicide under any law of this State.” In Washington State, which has a similar law with similar language, this requires the death certificate to list a natural death. Dore continued, “The significance is a legal inability to prosecute criminal behavior, for example, in the case of an outright murder for the money. The death is natural as a matter of law. ”

“If the New Jersey bill becomes law, there will be new lethal paths of elder abuse and exploitation, which will be legally sanctioned," said Dore. "People with years, even decades to live, will be encouraged to throw away their lives. Even if you like the concept of assisted suicide and euthanasia, the proposed bill has it all wrong.”

For more information, see:

1.  Washington State “Instructions for Medical Examiners, Coroners, and Prosecuting Attorneys:Compliance with the Death with Dignity Act,” available
at, (requiring that a terminal disease be listed as the cause of death, that the manner of death be marked “Natural” and that there be no language, such as “euthanasia,” indicating actual cause of death).

2. Margaret K. Dore, "'Death with Dignity': What Do We Advise Our Clients?," King County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin, May 2009,

3. Nina Shapiro, "Terminal Uncertainty: Washington’s new "Death With Dignity" law allows doctors to help people commit suicide-once they’ve determined that the patient has only six months to live. But what if they’re wrong?" Seattle Weekly, 01/14/09, available at

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