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Greenbaum attorneys John Zen Jackson and James A. Robertson presented a one-hour lunch and learn ethics webinar addressing end-of-life issues from 1974 to the present day, with an emphasis on bioethical considerations. The October 6, 2020 program, “Bioethical Issues and End-of-Life Options in New Jersey in the Time of COVID-19,” was co-sponsored by the New Jersey Hospital Association and the Medical Society of New Jersey, and drew an online audience of over 400 healthcare industry attendees.  

Following an introductory overview of the four core principles of bioethics – autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence and justice – the speakers analyzed the “right to die” recognized in the New Jersey Supreme Court’s 1976 Quinlan ruling and its legal progeny. This included a historical review of New Jersey case law and statutes associated with end-of-life decision-making. The comprehensive discussion touched on numerous relevant issues, including brain death and religious exceptions, the New Jersey Declaration of Death Act and related Board of Medical Examiners regulations, medical futility issues, and advance directives and planning. The management of these issues, and the rationing of limited resources within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic were also discussed. The presentation then moved to a review of the New Jersey Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act, including eligibility criteria, documentation and reporting requirements under the Act, as well as practical considerations for healthcare providers related to COVID-19 and the statute. The webinar concluded with a discussion of the arguments of opponents and the significant limits of the Act.

John Zen JacksonMr. Jackson is Of Counsel to the firm’s Healthcare Department. His practice emphasizes litigated matters in judicial and administrative forums, including professional liability claims, licensure and credentialing issues with administrative agencies and health care entities, reimbursement and insurance fraud disputes.  He is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney and has extensive experience in trying jury cases to a verdict. Mr. Jackson is the author of over 80 published articles in medical and legal publications on a broad range of healthcare, tort liability and trial technique topics.

James A. RobertsonMr. Robertson is a Partner and Chair of the Healthcare Department.  His practice is reflective of his significant expertise across a wide range of legal disciplines, enabling him to effectively counsel clients on a myriad of healthcare regulatory, corporate and litigation matters. He represents a diverse array of healthcare industry clients including for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare and hospital systems, academic medical centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, integrated delivery networks, physicians and physician practice groups, and healthcare private equity funds.

A Recording of this Program is Available Here: Bioethical Issues and End-of-Life Options in New Jersey in the Time of COVID-19