The Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act
The Autumn Joy Stillbirth Research and Dignity Act was introduced to the New Jersey legislature and signed on 1/21/14 by Gov. Chris Christie. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Dawn Marie Addiego (R-Burlington), requires the state to establish policies and procedures for the dignified and sensitive management of each stillbirth, in consultation with nursing, psychology and social work professionals.
The state will also be required to establish protocols for evaluating fetal death to ensure doctors and hospitals report accurate and complete data to the state. With that information, state health officials can create a database to increase our knowledge of stillbirth.
The bill received overwhelming support in both houses of the New Jersey legislature as well as a unanimous vote in the General Assembly. Ultimately, it may help find a way to prevent and reduce the incidence of stillbirth.