3News 14 October 2015
A Bill legalising assisted dying will be introduced into the Member’s ballot by ACT leader David Seymour today.
Mr Seymour says the End of Life Choice Bill is a response to the growing call for euthanasia which has gained prominence since the high-profile case of lawyer Lecretia Seales who spent her dying moments fighting for the right.
It also coincides with a petition with 8975 signatures which will be presented to the Health select committee this morning.
But Family First believes the Bill is premature and should wait until the inquiry he supported was completed.
“Rather than a flawed euthanasia Bill which will contain the same pitfalls as Maryan Street’s earlier proposed Bill, it makes absolute sense to debate euthanasia within the wider context of the premature ending of one’s life,” national director Bob McCoskrie says.
“Voluntary euthanasia has the allure of being an enlightened and compassionate response to the plight of the suffering, but its practical operation is fraught with risks and there are slippery slopes that are indeed very slippery.”
A person eligible for assisted dying would:
Be aged 18 or over;
Suffer from a terminal illness likely to end their life within six months or have a grievous and irremediable medical condition;
Be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability;
Experience intolerable suffering;
Be able to understand the nature and consequences of assisted dying.
The legal process:
Two medical practitioners need to be satisfied that the person meets the criteria;
The person will also have to be assessed by a mental health specialist;
A Support and Consultation for End of Life New Zealand Group (SCENZ) will be set up – it will maintain a list of doctors, specialists and pharmacists willing to participate in assisted dying;
Medical practitioners who conscientiously object to assisted dying must refer people to SCENZ.