New Jersey Advance Directive
State specific advance directives make clear your end-of-life preferences if you are unable to make or communicate medical treatment decisions yourself. For the New Jersey advance directive form, click here.
Since legislation to authorize medical aid in dying was first introduced in the New Jersey Legislature in 2012, Compassion & Choices has been dedicated to ensuring that this compassionate end-of-life option is available to the terminally ill residents of the Garden State.
Our New Jersey legislative campaign was fueled by the commitment of tens of thousands of grassroots supporters and hundreds of volunteers, as well as a strategic media campaign that included robust digital marketing and advertising in key media outlets.
On March 12, 2018, the Assembly Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the bill. The committee voted 5-2 to approve the bill, with several committee members citing the testimony of our supporters and telling stories of their own life experiences with death and dying. On February 7, 2019, the bill was passed out of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee with a 6-3 vote.
On March 25, 2019, the bill passed in both the Assembly and Senate with votes of 41-33-4 and 21-16, respectively.
Less than an hour after passage in both houses, Governor Phil Murphy issued a statement that he would sign the bill. True to his word, he signed the law authorizing medical aid in dying on April 12, 2019.
On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, a New Jersey superior court judge granted a temporary restraining order preventing physicians from writing prescriptions for medications in accordance with the New Jersey Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act. The restraining order came as a result of a lawsuit filed by a Bergen County physician against the New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
Attorney General Grewal acted immediately, filing appeals with an appellate court and the New Jersey Supreme Court to expedite the appeals process and overturn the suspension. On August 27, 2019, A New Jersey appellate court granted a request by state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to overturn the temporary restraining order and the Supreme Court of New Jersey denied the plaintiff’s application to reverse the appellate court’s ruling. As a result of these two rulings, the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act remained in effect pending eventual proceedings.
Oral arguments were heard to dismiss the lawsuit at the trial court on March 24, 2020.
A New Jersey superior court granted a motion by state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, to dismiss the lawsuit. The ruling ended the present threat to the law, but we remain vigilant against any and all efforts by the plaintiffs to appeal the judge’s ruling and any other legal challenges to the law in the future.
Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, February 2015
» By more than a 2-1 margin (63% to 29%), New Jersey residents support a state Legislature aid-in-dying bill that “would allow terminally ill patients to obtain a prescription to end their lives.”
Click here for full polling data.