New Jersey's medically assisted suicide law put on hold
Thursday, 15 August 2019 TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey judge put a temporary hold on a new law allowing terminally ill patients to seek life-ending drugs.
The order means that New Jersey's recently enacted measure cannot be enforced by the state attorney general and comes in response to a lawsuit brought by a doctor practicing in the state.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who signed the bill in April, said Thursday that Attorney General Gurbir Grewal would release guidance for residents in light of the order and vowed to oppose the lawsuit in court.
"We're going to fight it," Murphy said.
Grewal's office declined to comment.
Judge Paul Innes of Superior Court in Mercer County signed the temporary order Wednesday blocking the law. A hearing is set for October.
Dr. Yosef Glassman's lawsuit argues "that immediate and irreparable damage will probably result in view of the fact that if its enforcement is not immediately enjoined, New Jersey citizens can actually begin dying."
Glassman, whom the suit identifies as a physician and an Orthodox Jew, argues that the law is an affront to religious doctors.
The suit argues the law violates constitutional rights as well as common law barring suicide.
He argues that being required to transfer medical records under the law is "not only a violation of the rights to practice medicine without breaching the fiduciary duties owing to those patients ... but also violations of their First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution to freely practice their religions in which human life is sacred and must not be taken."
Murphy signed the bill in April, making New Jersey the seventh state allowing the practice. Maine enacted a similar law in June, becoming the eighth.
New Jersey's law went into effect earlier this month.