Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, November 18, 2019

Analysis: New Jersey's New Aid-in-Dying Law - Implications for Physicians, Estate Planners, & Malpractice Attorneys

LawNew Jersey's Medical Aid-in-Dying for the Terminally Ill (MAID) Act passed earlier this year, and now has been held up by the state's highest court. Besides the patients themselves, many others across industries are affected by this new law, most importantly physicians, estate planners, and malpractice attorneys due to the possible ethical and legal implications.

Physicians may be tested on their belief that the new law violates their Hippocratic oath, and some may even face an ethical or religious dilemma if their beliefs run counter to the concept of suicide. How can a physician be sure that the patient's informed consent is not tainted my momentary depression or mental illness? Should a psychiatric assessment be performed every single time? And when it comes to practical issues, can there be legal pitfalls for the doctor?

For an estate planner, the issues are also just as nuances. Certain documents may need to be redrafted if they were done so before physician assisted suicide was an option. And a morbid truth may be that future heirs and even future decedents may try to use assisted suicide to time death for financial gains or planning certainty. Practitioners may be able to advise clients as to the preferred state to claim residency in for tax purposes, and which state’s assisted suicide law are the most beneficial. 

See Alex Raybould, Analysis: New Jersey's New Aid-in-Dying Law - Implications for Physicians, Estate Planners, & Malpractice Attorneys, Lewis Bris Bois, November 6, 2019.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2019/11/analysis-new-jerseys-new-aid-in-dying-law-implications-for-physicians-estate-planners-malpractice-at.html

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