John Key won't touch right-to-die law change

  • 08/06/2015

No matter what your thoughts on euthanasia, there's no argument Lecretia Seales' final fight in court for the right-to-die was a courageous one – but Prime Minister John Key has effectively shut out the prospect of a law change on the issue.

Judge on Ms Seales case, Justice David Collins, said that it was up to Parliament to decide a change in the law.

But Mr Key says his Government won't be going there. He said the issue of assisted dying would have to be raised by a private member's Bill instead - and those Bills have just a one in 73 chance of getting drawn.

Voluntary Euthanasia Society national secretary Carole Sweney watched her husband suffer a long, painful death from motor neuron disease. For Ms Sweney, it reinforced the need for euthanasia laws in New Zealand.

"In the end he just stopped eating," says Ms Sweney. "He was weak enough as it was, so he stopped eating and within a couple of weeks he just died."

But it's a debate divided in the extreme. Beyond personal support, almost all parties support some kind of investigation into voluntary euthanasia.

A petition for a select committee inquiry is likely to be accepted later this month, but even if it goes ahead and a law change is recommended, the Prime Minister says the Government will not lead the charge.

Watch the full report from Tova O'Brien.

source: newshub archive