Starting Thursday, New Jersey will become the eighth state in America to allow terminally ill residents to end their lives with a prescription from their doctor and Susan Boyce is relieved.
Boyce, 56, of Rumson and has been diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease. She was also part of a team of advocates organized by national nonprofit Compassion & Choices to testify before the N.J. Legislature to help win passage of the state’s “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill” law.
“I firmly believe in this law, and I had the ability to speak out, to represent a group of patients who are terminally ill and don’t have the strength,” Boyce told NJ.com.
“This law provides incredible peace of mind to people in my situation, knowing they have this option within reach. It does a lot to counteract the fear and uncertainty about what the end is going to be like, and are you going to be able to stand it.”
While Boyce and other advocates of the law are elated, many in the medical community are still uncomfortable with the idea of ending lives they committed to preserve. There is currently no consensus on physician-assisted suicide according to the American Medical Association which provided opposing perspectives on the practice in May.
“It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duress—such as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illness—may come to decide that death is preferable to life. However, permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good,” the AMA wrote in a May opinion expressing the perspective of members who oppose the practice.
“Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life,” it continued.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair