Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Assisted suicide lobby launches lawsuit to allow assisted suicide tourism in New Jersey.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The assisted suicide lobby launched a lawsuit on Tuesday, August 29 to force the state of New Jersey to drop its assisted suicide residency requirement. The lawsuit claims that the New Jersey assisted suicide law is unconstitutional because it denies equal treatment.

If the residency requirement in the New Jersey assisted suicide law is withdrawn, the assisted suicide lobby will establish an assisted suicide clinic in New Jersey to assist the suicides of people in the neighboring states that have not legalized assisted suicide.

New Jersey is not far from: New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and New Hampshire --- states that have not legalized assisted suicide.

The Compassion and Choices media release stated:
Compassion & Choices filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday afternoon on behalf of cancer patients in Delaware and Pennsylvania and two New Jersey doctors asserting the residency mandate in New Jersey’s medical aid-in-dying law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal treatment. The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey, to prohibit state officials and the Camden County prosecutor from enforcing this unconstitutional provision of the law. The lawsuit complaint is posted at:

...The plaintiffs assert that the law’s residency requirement violates three clauses in the U.S. Constitution, specifically the:
  • 1. Privileges and Immunities Clause by limiting the availability of medical aid in dying to residents of New Jersey. 
  • 2. Dormant Commerce Clause by restricting interstate commerce, including medical care. 
  • 3. Equal Protection Clause by failing to provide residents and nonresidents equal protection under federal law.
On October 2021, the assisted suicide lobby group, Compassion and Choices, and Dr Nicholas Gideonse, an assisted suicide doctor, launched a court case challenging the Oregon assisted suicide residency requirement. Instead of defending the residency requirement, the Oregon Government, on March 29, 2022 agreed to remove the residency requirement.

A February 2023 article by James Reinl for the Daily Mail reported that Dr Nicholas Gideonse has opened the first assisted suicide clinic in Oregon to prescribe lethal assisted suicide drugs for death tourists. At least one person from Texas and an east coast resident has died by assisted suicide in Oregon.

On August 26, 2022, Compassion and Choices launched a lawsuit on behalf of a Connecticut woman and a Vermont doctor challenging Vermont's assisted suicide residency requirement.

Lisa Rathke reported on March 14, 2023 for the Associated Press that Vermont's attorney general's office reached an agreement with the assisted suicide lobby and dropped the Vermont assisted suicide residency requirement.

The assisted suicide lobby failed to legalize assisted suicide in any more states since 2021. By dropping the state assisted suicide residency requirements the assisted suicide lobby is creating suicide tourist states. 

New Jersey neighbors several highly populated states that have not legalized assisted suicide. If New Jersey drops its residency requirement, the assisted suicide lobby will establish an assisted suicide clinic in New Jersey to service the killing across the Northeast United States.

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