Pro-euthanasia group says now is the time for End of Life Choice Bill to pass

A pro-euthanasia group says the mood of New Zealand signals now is the right time to make assisted dying an option for some people.

On Tuesday, the Justice Select Committee reported back on the End of Life Choice Bill with no substantial changes. It would give people the option to request assisted dying if they have a terminal illness or a "grievous and irremediable medical condition".

While the Bill has met opposition from organisations, like the New Zealand Disability Rights Commissioner, the New Zealand Medical Association and Hospice New Zealand, one group says they represent a minority.

Maryan Street from the End of Life Choice Society told Newshub after years of back and forth, now is the right time for the Bill to pass.

"We have had this debate twice before, it is a long time since the last one, and I think the whole conversation around assisted dying has changed," she said.

"Every poll that has been run has indicated a two-thirds to three-quarters majority of New Zealanders across all parts of our spectrum, who are in favour of this Bill."

The select committee received more than 38,000 submissions on the legislation, but Street says she isn't concerned about opposition.

"I am not much fussed about them, because I know they have come a minority of New Zealanders with a particular worldview."

There will be several amendments put forward with the bill, including to introduce a referendum. It will likely come up for its second reading in about six weeks time.


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