Why Support Us
The majority of New Zealanders support this Bill.
The End of Life Choice Bill went before our Parliament on 13 December 2017 for its First Reading. MPs voted for it to go to a Select Committee and public submissions. Read the media release here.
It's now important MPs know that the majority of New Zealanders support change. In a recent Horizon poll (May 2017) conducted nationwide, New Zealanders were asked:
"Do you support a law change to allow medical practitioners to assist people to die, where a request has come from a mentally competent patient, 18 years or over, who has an end stage terminal disease and irreversible, unbearable suffering, such as cancer?"
An incredible 75% of respondents either supported or strongly supported a law change.
You can see the full Horizon Poll results here.
In places around the world where assisted dying is legal there has been:
- no evidence of coercion of vulnerable people
- no slippery slope into some uncontrolled abyss
It’s important to remember that:
- palliative care is not always capable of relieving all suffering, all the time
- people who help someone to die currently do so with no safeguards in place and with a real threat of prosecution
New Zealanders are known the world over for their enlightened and tolerant views.
As a progressive society we have achieved many important milestones including women’s right to vote, homosexual law reform, and environment and employment rights.
We have proven ourselves to be legislatively liberal in many areas but in others such as the basic human right of dignity in death as well as in life, we have fallen short.
Being in pain and knowing that we will inevitably die badly, is a situation which could happen to any of us. It could happen to you, or a member of your family. As a compassionate society it’s only fair that we allow people the right to choose a peaceful death over a painful one.
You can help by making a submission
The current Bill passed its first reading in December 2017 by 76 votes to 44 and is now open for public submissions. We ask that if you support Dignity in Dying that you write a letter, card, email, opinion piece for your local newspaper, or Letter to the Editor of magazines or newspapers you read, and send copies to your local MP urging them to support the bill through its second reading. You can turn your letter or article into a submission and send it to the Select Committee. Advice on how to do this can be found here.
The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 20 February, 2018.
The Bill will allow medical practitioners to prescribe medication to end the life of their patients who qualify and request it. It includes important safeguards such as:
- a requirement that patients submit two written requests for life-ending medication
- the voluntary participation of two independent medical practitioners who attest that the medical conditions are met and the patient is capable of making such a decision
- time for reflection and reconsideration
- dementia patients and minors under the age of 18 are not eligible
- protection for doctors from prosecution if all steps are followed
- mandatory reporting and review of all assisted dying cases
This information is brought to you by the End-of-Life Choice campaign. We are lobbying to change the law so that adults with a terminal illness or an irreversible condition that makes their life unbearable have the right to choose how and when they die, with medical assistance.
You can show your support for Dignity in Dying by making a submission to the Select Committee. Here's some advice on how to make a submission. Closing date for submissions is Tuesday, 6 March 2018.