Delighted at majority vote on End of Life Choice Bill
MEDIA RELEASE: 13 December 2017
The majority of New Zealanders will be delighted that Parliament has today agreed to send David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill to a select committee for consideration, said the President of the End-of-Life Choice Society, Maryan Street.
“New Zealanders will now have their first chance to make submissions on a law enabling people to choose medical assistance to die, in certain highly regulated circumstances,” said Maryan Street.
“Previously when a bill like this has been drawn from the ballot, in 1995 and 2003, Parliament simply voted it out immediately, first by a large majority and then second by the slimmest of majorities. Now, in 2017, Parliament has decided that the time has come for closer scrutiny of what people actually want.
“That is a good decision,” she said.
“People had a chance recently to tell MPs what they thought as they lodged submissions on our petition in front of the Health select committee. But now they will be able to speak about the actual words of a bill which could become law, and that will focus everyone’s minds.
“It will also give MPs a chance to have any concerns they have addressed by evidence from other jurisdictions where very similar laws apply.
“We welcome this first step on what will be an important journey towards a more compassionate society. It will see New Zealand joining 11 enlightened jurisdictions in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States, where more than 110 million people are able to get medical assistance to die if they are terminally ill and suffering intolerably,” said Maryan Street.
Contacts: Maryan Street 021 977 555
David Barber 021 072 8760