End of Life Choice Bill on brink of moving toward law

The fight to legalise assisted dying could take another step forward in Parliament tonight as politicians vote on whether to progress the legislation on to its second reading or scupper it altogether. 

The vote will come down to the conscience of individual MPs, but even people who could qualify for assisted dying disagree on it.

"A lot in my community are terrified about this End of Life Choice Bill," Kylee Black told Newshub.

She has Ehlers Danlos syndrome and is concerned people could decide to end their life during a temporary dip in their condition.

"For those with disabilities, for those with terminal illnesses, that's when we need the most support. That's when we need community to rally around, that's when we need access to the right support."

Bobbie Carroll, who has terminal blood cancer, wants to choose how she dies.

"I wish to be coherent, not morphined out, and with the people I love at the time of my death."

Under the Bill, only citizens over the age of 18 are eligible for assisted dying. You must have a terminal illness with just six months left to live or have a grievous and incurable medical condition and be declining - and able to understand the process.

Support from the Greens is conditional.

"We don't want to extend assisted dying to people who don't have a terminal illness," Marama Davidson says. 

New Zealand First will only support euthanasia if all Kiwis get to vote on it in a referendum.

The first vote had 76 in favour and 44 opposed, but Wednesday night's will be much tighter.

New Zealand First, the Greens and ACT have all committed to voting yes tonight - That makes 18 sure bets. National and Labour MPs are free to vote on conscience, leaving 102 votes in play.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will vote in favour of the Bill, as will Justice Minister Andrew Little. 

Paul Goldsmith's a no, saying: "Older people will feel more pressure to get out of the way and that's why I'm voting against it."

"After a lot of soul searching, I've decided that I'll vote no today," Kiritapu Allan says.

It's still a long way from becoming law. If passed tonight it will go through a lengthy process with input from all MPs before there's a further and final vote.

Sponsor David Seymour is fairly confident the Bill will go through the second reading. There were some moving and passionate speeches in the Parliament both for and against it, including Amy Adams sharing the story of her mother's death.