“Opinion: New Jersey has failed dying Americans”

January 14, 2018

With November’s elections behind us, the New Jersey’s new governor, Phil Murphy, and the Legislature are in a unique position to take on a pressing issue crucial to the residents of New Jersey – improving end-of-life care and expanding options.

Despite people’s widespread desire to die at home, research shows Garden State residents spend more days in the hospital during the last six months of life than residents in every state except New York. New Jersey also lags behind many other states in its hospice usage rates, and it has a higher incidence of hospice misuse than many states.

Since 2012, New Jersey has been debating – but has not enacted – a public policy solution that history shows can improve these trends: the Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act. This bill would allow a mentally capable, terminally ill adult with six months or fewer to live the option to request a prescription for medication they can take to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.

While America’s healthcare leaders remain focused on improving end-of-life care through provider-focused policy and programmatic changes, evidence from the past two decades suggests that the most effective way to transform the end-of-life experience is through a consumer-empowerment approach: the authorization of medical aid in dying to be exact.

Read the full article here:

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