Members of the Board of True Dignity were in the process of calling each NJ senator’s district office to urge him or her to vote against assisted suicide when we heard this wonderful news from the office of Senator Thomas Kean Jr. Having squeaked through committee with no recommendation, the assisted suicide legislation we thought would come up for a vote on Thursday has instead been pulled. We can be pretty sure there are not currently enough votes to pass it.
Once again, another state legislature has demonstrated better sense than the one in Vermont. We should never let our legislators forget that they are the only ones who, after having had the opportunity to hear testimony about the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide, went ahead and made it legal anyway. While people in Oregon and Washington may have voted out of emotion, without having had the opportunity to learn about the real risks, our legislators had no such excuse. With every rejection in other states, our chances of repeal here increase.
We can all take a brief rest, but we need to stay tuned and be ready to act. Senate President Sweeney wants this legislation and has promised to “educate” other senators. Some serious arm-twisting will be going on over the holiday recess. After the holidays, we still think everybody should call every senator. We had the list of each one, with phone numbers, all ready to post. We’ll post in early January, when the senate comes back into session.
Thanks so much to everybody, especially the disability rights activists who protested their original exclusion from committee hearings, then traveled long distances and waited, some of them for four hours, to give testimony that was both reasoned and moving. Thanks especially to Meghan Schrader, who spoke for Second Thoughts Massachusetts, and Stephen Mendelsohn, of Second Thoughts Connecticut.
Here’s the link to the same article we posted earlier, only now there is a correction at the end, saying the bill is not posted for Thursday.