Politicians to decide fate of legally assisted dying Bill

One of the most difficult moral decisions is about to be thrown back into the hands of politicians.

They'll have to vote on whether the terminally-ill should have the right to choose when they die.

MPs will get to vote with their conscience, which makes it a debate for us all.

Elaine Pollock knows first-hand what it's like to watch the suffering of someone with a terminal illness.

Her husband John died in 2010 after a battle with metastatic melanoma.

He was a doctor, and lobbied for euthanasia to be legalised.

"People feel so much more comfortable about the dying process if they know they have some control over it," Ms Pollock says.

Dr Pollock's dying wish is finally a possibility. ACT leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill was pulled from Parliament's biscuit tin.

"New Zealand is at best a year away from legalising assisted dying," Mr Seymour says.

It would legalise assisted dying for adults with a terminal illness, or irremediable medical condition, who're experiencing unbearable suffering.

Two doctors need to agree that the patient genuinely wants to end their life, hasn't been coerced, and has been given other options.

"In places where it isn't legal, many many people have horrible deaths," Ms Pollock says.

To become law, it needs 61 votes in Parliament - but that's looking challenging.

"I'll be voting against the legislation," says Prime Minister Bill English.

"I'm not a supporter of euthanasia," say Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox.

And those who are undecided can expect formidable lobbying efforts.

"We're looking forward to exposing the many flaws in David Seymour's bill. It's a shoddy collection of nonsense," says anti-euthanasia campaigner Matthew Jansen.

Mr Seymour says he'll campaign as well, to bust some myths.

"I want this debate to be on the facts, not the fear-mongering," he says.

Ms Pollock agrees - and urges Kiwis to have an open mind.

"I think he had quite a good death in many ways compared with many people but it would have been a comfort," she says.

A comfort that's now in the hands of MPs.

Newshub.

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