May 2020 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

A state court in New Jersey has upheld an aid-in-dying law, holding that the people who sued to block it lacked the legal right to sue.

Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy ruled that three state residents who sued to block application of the law failed to show that it harmed them. No one is required to take advantage of the law, Lougy ruled.

Under the law’s provisions, terminally ill patients who have six months or less left to live may request medical aid in dying. The law includes a number of safeguards; it mandates a second doctor to confirm a terminal diagnosis and requires a finding that a person seeking the aid is mentally sound. Furthermore, it requires that a patient request the medical aid twice and establishes a 15-day waiting period between each request.

The news website NorthJersey.com reported that after the law went into effect last August, it was challenged by a number of state residents who argued that allowing medical aid in dying violated their religious beliefs. (Petro v. Grewal)