Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Twelve terminally ill New Jersey residents have used state's new assisted suicide law to end their lives since it was introduced last year

AssistedSince New Jersey introduced the assisted suicide law, twelve (six men and six women) terminally ill residents have used the law to end their lives. The New Jersey Department of Health released a report with detailing that the patients that took their own lives were between the ages of 50 and 93. The report detailed that the deaths occurred between August 1 and December 31 of last year. 

Nine of those who chose to die through medical aid had been diagnosed with cancer and three had neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. The report stated that ten died in their home, while one died at a nursing home. 

One of the patients who died was Zeporah 'Debbie' Geller (80), who was terminally ill with cancer. Following the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act into law in April, her family said they reached out to 40 different physicians. 

The family eventually found a physician that was willing to help Geller end her life. Geller past on September 30 in her son's home. Geller's son Paul, seed that being able to take advantage of the law "made the final portion of her life much more tenable and dignified, and for that we are happy."

The law made the other 11 families feel the same sense of comfort and dignity for their loved ones.

See, Ariel Zilber, Twelve terminally ill New Jersey residents have used state's new assisted suicide law to end their lives since it was introduced last year, Daily Mail (U.K), July 31, 2020. 

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2020/08/twelve-terminally-ill-new-jersey-residents-have-used-states-new-assisted-suicide-law-to-end-their-li.html

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