3News 8 June 2015
The Prime Minister has agreed with a court’s decision only Parliament can address legalities surrounding voluntary euthanasia, but says it comes down to a conscience vote.
Speaking at a post Cabinet press conference today, John Key said the case of Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales had made euthanasia an issue for public debate.
Ms Seales, 42, fought for the right to allow her GP to help her die without fear of being prosecuted, should her inoperable brain tumour get worse.
A New Zealand-first three-day civil hearing into the issue took place before Justice David Collins at the High Court in Wellington two weeks ago.
However, Ms Seales died of natural causes at 12:35am on Thursday morning – before the High Court on Friday afternoon said it was not in the court’s jurisdiction to rule on the matter.
In his decision, Justice Collins said “only Parliament can change the law to reflect Ms Seales’ wishes and that the Courts cannot trespass on the role of Parliament”.
“The complex legal, philosophical, moral and clinical issues raised by Ms Seales’ proceedings can only be addressed by Parliament passing legislation to amend the effect of the Crimes Act.”