Upcoming euthanasia trial to explore meaning of suicide with regards to bill of rights

By May 23, 2015 Recent News

NZ Herald 22 May 2015
Ahead of a major euthanasia legal battle, a local law professor and a US lawyer say there’s a strong case the law here doesn’t stop doctors helping mentally competent, terminally ill people to die.
Lecretia Seales’ case in the High Court at Wellington starts on Monday.
Ms Seales, 42, is dying from a brain tumour. She says she has the right to end her life with medical help, instead of suffering a slow, painful, undignified death.
Ms Seales wants the High Court to clarify whether a doctor would be committing a crime if they helped her die.
The University of Otago’s Professor Andrew Geddis and Kathryn Tucker, from California’s Disability Rights Legal Center, will publish an article on legal issues the case raises in the upcoming New Zealand Law Journal.
Prof Geddis and Ms Tucker said the law was currently vague, as Ms Seales’ lawyer Andrew Butler has argued ahead of the trial.
“The lack of clarity in the law creates an uncertain legal environment making it very difficult for competent, terminally ill persons to die as they prefer: peacefully, on their own terms, with help from a medical professional, avoiding the final cruel bit of suffering caused by their illness,” Prof Geddis and Ms Tucker wrote.