Opponents of doctor-assisted suicide can claim an initial victory for this year but the battle is far from over.
There was a huge push last year and the beginning of this year for passage of an assisted suicide bill in the New Jersey Senate, one that had already passed in the lower chamber, but the legislative session ended without a vote.
"It didn't have enough votes or support in the Senate and so, therefore, at the end of the session it died," Tim Rosales of the Patients Rights Action Fund explains. "And that kind of marks, I think, a big victory here at the beginning of 2016 for opponents of assisted suicide."
Rosales says opponents of the measure need to be alert because the bill could be introduced again next session, and similar battles are occurring on other fronts.
"Proponents already have a bill that they're introducing in the state of New York; they're looking at legislation in Maryland, in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Colorado," he lists. "So while this is an important initial victory here in 2016, those opposed to assisted suicide absolutely need to remain vigilant in their opposition."
Assisted suicide was passed and signed into law in California; and while a petition drive to oppose it failed, lawsuits have been filed to block the law from going into effect.