Quinlan Hospice Administrator speaks against NJ Assisted Suicide proposal

Press Release


DATE: December 16, 20144
CONTACT: Dr. Roxanne Debski-Seigel
Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation
Offices in Newton NJ & Milford PA.
EMAIL: rdebski-seigel@karenannquinlanhospice.org
WEBSITE: www.karenannquinlanhospice.org

Marlina Schetting


Marlina Schetting, MSW, LCSW, CT, and Administrator of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.

Quinlan Hospice Administrator speaks against NJ Assisted Suicide proposal.

Newton-December 15, 2014— The New Jersey Senate’s Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee met on Monday, December 8th about an assisted suicide bill in a “discussion-only” hearing where only invited guests were allowed to testify. The public was only permitted to submit written testimony.
The bill, known as the “Death with Dignity Act,” has evoked protest and worries from many groups on the substance of the idea that physician assisted suicide is fundamentally immoral and the bill allows for potential abuse. One of the main points of contention is that it does not require medical professionals to be present with those patients when the physician prescribed drugs are administered—leaving such patients vulnerable to having the dose administered for them, potentially against their will, either in the hospital or at home.
Marlina Schetting, MSW, LCSW, CT, Administrator of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice and
Chair of NJHPCO’s Committee on Reimbursement and Government Relations was present to offer testimony at the invitation-only discussion on the proposed assisted suicide act.

Schetting’s testimony read, in part:
“Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice affirms living…and dying a natural death. Hospice respects patient choice, alleviates pain and suffering and supports patients and their families in their coping with the dying process. Finally, in hospice care, like virtually all aspects of medical care, quality of care is quantified and providers are required to use evidence-based practice and show outcomes.

“When only three in 10 Americans have developed advance directives; New Jersey’s POLST is still newly implemented, and residents continue to die in arenas not of their own choosing, isn’t it time to consider hospice, death education, and advance care planning, rather than relegate end-of-life to a health crisis that culminates with a single, autonomous act? People do not exist in vacuums…A short cut to this process is ill-advised, no matter how well-intentioned, and is neither “dignified” nor “humane” when a better option is present. That better option is hospice care.”

Joining Schetting in speaking against the bill were Dr. Joseph Fennelly and Mishael Azam of the Medical Society of New Jersey and Sister Pat Codey of the Catholic Health Partnership. Janet Colbert, a terminally Ill patient, also spoke to the committee. Speaking on favor of the bill was: Jessica Grennan from Compassion & Choices and Ed Barocas of the ACLU.

It was announced earlier that no vote was to be taken at that hearing. The State Assembly passed the bill some weeks ago with the minimum number of votes needed, and as of this writing second Senate hearing scheduled for December 15th made a recommendation for approval.

The Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation is passionately dedicated to providing Hospice care for the terminally ill and Bereavement for those who have lost loved ones. Serving Northwest NJ and Northeast PA; please call 800 882 1117 to reach any of our services. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, NJ and Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 104 Bennett Ave., Milford, PA. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice is an independently owned hospice program and the preferred hospice provider for the Atlantic Health Care System in our area of service. The Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice in Fredon offers in-patient units, respite care, and routine hospice care to eligible Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice patients. For programs, events, and more information visit www.karenannquinlanhospice.org. 
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