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New Jersey law will let terminally ill patients decide when to die

New Jersey will join six other states that have enacted similar legislation.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new law in New Jersey takes effect Thursday and allows terminally ill patients to end their lives.

The “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill” law lets New Jersey residents with a terminal illness request a prescription for medication to end their lives.

Under the new law, only patients who are irreversibly terminally ill and have a prognosis of six months or less to live could acquire the medication.

In April, New Jersey became the seventh state to enact such legislation. The others include California, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Montana does not have a law permitting medically assisted suicide for the terminally ill. However, a 2009 Montana Supreme Court ruling determined that nothing in state law prevented a physician from prescribing such a drug to a terminally ill person.

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