End of Life Choice Bill: Parliament slowly working through submissions

  • 24/03/2018

Many people are having their say about the End of Life Choice Bill.

The Justice Committee had already processed 30,411 submissions on Friday, with several thousand more to go.

Justice Committee chairman Raymond Huo said it was already the highest number of submissions a select committee had received in recent parliamentary history.

"I am determined to present the committee as balanced, even-handed and open-minded as we prepare to hear from the many thousands of New Zealanders who have taken the time to share their views on this complicated and contentious Bill," he said.

National MP Maggie Barry has joined the committee as deputy chairperson.

The Bill passed its first reading in Parliament last year. It was drafted by David Seymour, ACT Party leader, and submitted as a Member's Bill.

The first reading debate drew stark differences in MPs' attitudes and beliefs.

NZ First's nine MPs voted for the bill on condition that it won't become law unless it gains majority support in a referendum.

Parliament will decide during the Bill's committee stage whether a referendum clause should be inserted.

The Bill gives people with a terminal illness or a "grievous and irremediable" medical condition the right to request 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 consequences of their decision.

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