Terminally ill Wellington woman begins fight to die

  • 20/04/2015

Groups opposed to voluntary suicide say a terminally ill Wellington lawyer's bid to legally end her own life sets a dangerous precedent which will harm society's more vulnerable people.

The Care Alliance wants to be heard in the case of Lecretia Seales, the 42-year-old who has terminal brain cancer and is asking the High Court to uphold her right to die at the time of her choosing.

She has asked the court for a declaratory judgment that would protect her GP from criminal prosecution if, and when, her doctor assists her to die.

Ms Seales argues that under section nine of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, she has a right not to be subjected to cruel, degrading or disproportionately severe treatment.

The case will be heard next month between Ms Seales' lawyers and the Attorney-General.

Today, in the High Court at Wellington, the Care Alliance's lawyer Victoria Casey argued the Attorney-General, while representing the public, could not adequately represent the elderly, disabled or mentally ill.

Ms Seales' proposed lifting of New Zealand's ban on assisted suicide was a "very dangerous" one which would affect vulnerable people, Ms Casey said.

Care Alliance represents medical professionals, palliative care groups, as well as Family First and the Salvation Army.

Ms Casey also said the medical profession, after 2000 years of observing medical ethics, would now see its members being asked to lend the life of others.

Other groups, the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and the Human Rights Commission, also want to be heard in court on the case.

The hearing is continuing.


source: newshub archive