TRENTON, N.J., Dec. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a breathtaking turn of events, the committee scheduled to hear arguments today on assisted suicide bill S382 declined to invite the bill's most vocal opponents, the disability rights community. When in June the Assembly bill was temporarily pulled for lack of votes, the Star-Ledger reported, "Disability advocates, fearing the legislation could be manipulated to prematurely end patients' lives, turned out in force to testify against the bill."
"We have been opposing assisted suicide for a generation," said Diane Coleman of the national grassroots group Not Dead Yet. "Every major national disability rights organization that has taken a position on assisted suicide, opposes it."
The Senate Health, Human Services and Seniors Committee posted an invitee list that included proponent group Compassion & Choices (the rebranded Hemlock Society), but left out opposing disability organizations. A formal request to the committee for inclusion was rejected.
"We have been excluded too long to allow this outrage to pass," said John B. Kelly, New Jersey native and Executive Director of Second Thoughts. "What is the Committee afraid of?"
Written testimony will be submitted to the Senate committee from a number of leading disability rights organizations, some of the statements will continue to be posted on our website and can be accessed by clicking here.
The New Jersey Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide is a coalition of disability rights, healthcare, civil rights, faith-based and patient advocacy organizations opposed to doctor-prescribed suicide in New Jersey.
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SOURCE New Jersey Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide