The process takes a minimum of 16 days
Two verbal requests made to the prescribing physician 15 days apart are required by law. Additionally, you must see a second consulting physician who will confirm the diagnosis and prognosis, and confirm competency.
The patient fills out and signs “Request for Aid-in-Dying Medication To End My Life in a Humane and Dignified Manner.” The signing of this document must be witnessed by two people, only one of whom can be a family member.
Obtaining a Prescription
When all of the requirements are fulfilled, the prescribing physician can write a prescription for the aid in dying medication. Compassionate Endings NJ has a list of cooperating compounding pharmacies. The pharmacist will prepare the medication in the form of concentrated powder which will be mixed with a liquid before being self administered. Medications can NOT be mailed to your home. The patient may designate someone to pick up the medication for them or a courier service can be arranged.
The prescribing physician signs the death certificate, listing the terminal illness as the cause of death. Nowhere on the death certificate will "Medical Aid in Dying" appear. The law clearly states that “…actions taken in accordance with the End of Life Options Act shall not, for any purposes, constitute suicide, homicide, or elder abuse under the law.” (nj.gov2020) Life insurance and other policies CANNOT be affected by the decision to use aid-in-dying medication. Because Compassionate Endings NJ attends each death personally, there is no need to call 911. We will generally make the death pronouncement and fill out the death certificate. No other calls are needed except to the funeral home.