How will MPs vote on euthanasia

By June 9, 2017 Recent News

Euthanasia bill: MPs give current voting positions
Radio NZ News 8 June 2017
How will MPs vote?
Prime Minister Bill English will vote against the bill, as will the senior minister Gerry Brownlee.
Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett said she was undecided. Ministers Steven Joyce, Simon Bridges and Nick Smith all joined her in their indecision.
“I’m pretty conservative on these issues,” Mr Bridges said. “I’m very likely to vote against it ultimately… I might vote to see it go to a select committee so that the issues… are fleshed out.”
Labour MP Grant Robertson said he would support the bill at its first reading.
“It’s a really important conversation for New Zealand to have.”
The Green Party intends to vote as a bloc, but was yet to discuss its stance on Mr Seymour’s bill.
Its policy is to support medically-assisted dying for adults with a terminal illness, however this legislation also includes people with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition”.
New Zealand First MPs said they would discuss the bill as a caucus before deciding how to push forward.
The party’s policy was for New Zealanders to have a national discussion over at least two years followed by a binding referendum.
The Māori Party’s Marama Fox said both she and her co-leader, Te Ururoa Flavell, intended to vote against the bill.
“I’ve sat holding the hands of dying people over and over again from my own family. I can’t even remember going to a funeral where it was of natural causes in the last 28 years… I’ve never once had any one of those people say they wanted to go early. Not once.”
Where do our MPs stand on euthanasia?
TVNZ One News 8 June 2017
On the back of ACT leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill being drawn from the member’s bill ballot today, we present a selection of views by Members of Parliament on where they stand on a bill that would legalise euthanasia in select circumstances.
“We have convinced a third of them, and I think we will convince more than a majority – I think we are easily going to pass this legislation” – David Seymour, Act Party.

“No” – Gerry Brownlee, National.
“I’m not an absolute no, I suppose I’d want to see what the consequences are, what the kind of detail is” – Paula Bennett, National.
“I’ve been well on the record for a while now that I’m opposed to euthanasia because of my academic and experience in hospitals and hospices” – Simon O’Connor, National.
“For me personally … I think the current system serves those who need that care and compassion and I think they do a good job. I see no reason to change” – Todd Muller, National.

“I’m in support of it” – Chris Bishop, National.
“I’m in favour of good quality, excellent palliative care” – Jonathan Coleman, National.
“For me I’m not a supporter of euthanasia and I’ve got a number of reasons about that, but it’s a conscience vote” – Marama Fox, Maori Party.
“I’d rather be guided by what our constituency feels about it so probably at this point in time no, but I’ll take leave from our people” – Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party.
“It may be that I vote for it at first reading although I am unlikely I think to vote for it all the way through passing” – Simon Bridges.
“Everyone in New Zealand needs to have their say and I will vote how I vote and I will just be one of those people in that referendum” – Fletcher Tabuteau, NZ First.
“Ultimately with the Green Party we have policy on assisted dying around terminally ill people, it doesn’t go as far as what’s in David Seymour’s bill” – Julie Anne Genter, Green Party.

End of Life Choice Bill

ACT leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill was drawn from the member’s bill ballot today.
The End of Life Choice Bill gives people with a terminal illness or a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” the option of requesting assisted dying.
It defines those eligible and details a comprehensive set of provisions to ensure it is a free choice made without coercion.
It also outlines a stringent series of steps to ensure the person is mentally capable of understanding the nature and consequences of their decision.
MPs will have a conscience vote on the bill, and parties won’t take positions on it.
Emotional euthanasia debate kicks off
NZ Herald 9 June 2017
Parliament’s vote on legalising euthanasia appears to be almost evenly split as an emotional election-year debate kicks off.

Act leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill was pulled from the private members’ ballot yesterday, and could be before Parliament before the election.

A total of 33 MPs told the Herald they would definitely or probably support the bill to a select committee, and 27 said they definitely or probably would not. Another 37 MPs were undecided, and the rest did not say or did not respond. Seymour needs 60 votes for a majority.

Among the high-profile opponents is Prime Minister Bill English, a practising Catholic who has long opposed assisted dying. Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett was undecided, but said she was not definitely opposed.

One of the strongest voices against the bill was Deputy Speaker and National MP Chester Borrows.

“We have a horrific record on suicide and I think it sends a message that sometimes it is okay to top yourself,” he said.

Party leaders at complete odds over euthanasia
NewsTalk ZB 9 June 2017
The leaders of our major political parties are at complete odds over euthanasia.
ACT leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill has been drawn from the Members’ ballot, more than two years after it was written up.
Two of the National Party’s most senior members, Prime Minister Bill English and Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, are both Catholic and pro-life and firmly against the prospect of legalising assisted death.
English said his views on the matter haven’t changed.
“I will be voting against the legislation,” he said.
Whanganui MP Chester Burrows is also against the Bill saying he fears such legislation would be devastating for New Zealand.
“In a county where we have got a horrific record on suicide I think it sends the message that it is sometimes okay top yourself and I disagree with that,” he said.
While Labour leader Andrew Little said he is yet to have a proper read of the intricacies of the Bill, but at first glance thought he would support it.
Grant Robertson said he will certainly be supporting the Bill.
“This has always been a conscious issue for the Labour Party and It remains that way,” he said.
The Greens’ view is slightly more complicated, as their own policy on euthanasia doesn’t go quite so far as this Bill, they would only make it legal for those who’re terminally ill and have less than six months to live.
Seymour ‘convinced’ MPs will back voluntary euthanasia
NewsHub 9 June 2017
ACT leader David Seymour says he needs another 21 MPs on side if his voluntary euthanasia Bill is to become law.
The End of Life Choice Bill was drawn from the ballot on Thursday, meaning Parliament will debate whether to allow dying patients to choose when and how to end their own lives, rather than leaving it to fate.
“It says if you have a terminal illness like cancer that doctors say will end your life within six months, or if you have a grievous, irremediable condition – something like Huntington’s disease – and you’re in a state of decline, then you can be examined by two doctors who have to decide that you’re of sound mind, that you understand the decision that you’re making,” Mr Seymour told The AM Show on Friday.
Despite that, conservative lobby group Family First has vowed to “kill” the Bill.
“One of the main reasons that politicians in New Zealand have rejected previous attempts to decriminalise euthanasia is that they realised that the safeguards, while sounding good, would not guarantee the protection required for vulnerable people including the disabled, elderly, depressed or anxious, and those who feel themselves to be a burden or are under financial pressure,” says Family First director Bob McCoskrie.
“The international evidence backs up these concerns, and explains why so few countries have made any changes to the law around this issue. We simply need to ensure a palliative care regime in NZ that is fully funded and world class. That’s where the politicians’ focus should be.”