Euthanasia – Where do the party’s stand?

By June 8, 2015 Recent News

Stuff 6 June 2015

  • Prime Minister John Key said assisted suicide was a conscience issue and would be best dealt with through a member’s bill. “In the past I have personally voted for euthanasia, as I do have some sympathy for that argument.” (Also “I would support euthanasia and it will be debated again soon”)
  • Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway said on Friday the End of Life Choice Society petition will be tabled at the first opportunity in Parliament and will go straight to a select committee.
  • Leader Andrew Little said a member’s bill was not the right way to debate such an important issue.
  • Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the party supported a select committee inquiry, which could make recommendations to Parliament. “It would be a better way to do it rather than rely on one individual party …it’s a much better message for us to send to the community, that Parliament is making a response.”
  • ACT leader David Seymour has confirmed he is drafting a member’s bill calling for a debate on euthanasia and will urge the Government to adopt the bill.
  • UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said it was time for a wider debate in the community about advanced care planning. “Any legislative change should flow from that.” But it needed to be broader than a debate solely about euthanasia. That included issues like palliative care and the right to exercise individual choice over treatment
  • Maori Party said it did not have a formal position on euthanasia but was open to a debate.
  • Party co-leader Marama Fox said her personal view was that assisted suicide legislation wasn’t needed.
  • NZ First leader Winston Peters supports a referendum on the matter and says it’s not for MPs to be making the decision. “My personal view is that I’m happy to live with the public view after a properly funded and reasonable debate to decide.”    

What did they tell us?
Metitia Turei (Greens) – voted FOR decriminalisation in 2003. UNDECIDED in 2014 (“The Green party does not have policy on euthanasia.”)
David Cunliffe (Labour) – voted FOR decriminalisation in 2003. Refused to respond to survey
Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori) – wasn’t in Parliament in 2003. Refused to respond to survey
Winston Peters (NZ First) – voted FOR decriminalisation in 2003. UNDECIDED in 2014 (“This issue should be put to a referendum after at least three years of properly conducted public discussion.”)
Peter Dunne (UnitedFuture) – voted AGAINST decriminalisation in 2003. OPPOSED in 2014
John Key (National) – voted FOR decriminalisation in 2003. PARTIAL SUPPORT in 2014. (Euthanasia would be “a legitimate thing” to speed up death for a terminally ill patient who was in pain. But he would not vote for a bill proposed by Labour MP Maryan Street that would allow any adult suffering from a condition likely to cause their death within 12 months to request medical assistance to die – Source.)
Jamie Whyte (ACT) – SUPPORT in 2014 (“I have no in-principle objection to people deciding to end their own lives and getting help in the process – provided adequate protections against coercion are in place.”)