Committee to look at voluntary euthanasia

  • 22/07/2015
Committee to look at voluntary euthanasia

A select committee inquiry will be held to find out what people think about voluntary euthanasia.

The decision to hold an inquiry follows a petition with close to 9000 signatures that was delivered to MPs last month.

That petition, organised by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand, asked for an investigation into public attitudes towards possible law changes that would allow medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable.

"This is an important subject and the committee needs to think carefully about the best way to examine it," health committee chairman and National MP Simon O'Connor said.

"I would like to see a thorough investigation that covers as many aspects of this topic as possible in a responsible and robust manner."

It comes after a legal bid by Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales regarding the choice of when to die was knocked back by the High Court saying only Parliament could change the law.

Lawyers for the 42-year-old argued that her doctor should be allowed to help her to die sooner without the risk of criminal charges.

Ms Seales died from a brain tumour last month before the decision was released to the public.