New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, may soon have to confront the question of whether to endorse assisted suicide.
New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the Democrat in charge of the state legislative chamber, is signing on as the primary co-sponsor to the "Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act." His support for the legislation, which passed last week in the New Jersey Assembly, increases the likelihood that the bill will make it to Christie's desk for approval.
"I'm going to push very hard for its passage," Sweeney said, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. "I just think it's a very humane thing to do."
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The bill would allow a qualified terminally ill patient to self-administer medication to end his or her life in a "humane and dignified manner."
When asked about his stance on the legislation at a press conference about a year ago, Christie simply said, "Opposed."
The issue of assisted suicide gained more attention in recent months after Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with incurable brain cancer, chose to speak out as an advocate for "death with dignity" laws and then end her own life.
Maynard moved from California to Oregon to take advantage of the state's Death With Dignity Act. Oregon was the first state to allow qualified terminally ill patients to end their own lives.