Judith Collins tears up describing father's 'terrible pain' in euthanasia speech

National MP Judith Collins has held back tears in Parliament describing her father's death during a debate on David Seymour's proposed assisted dying law. 

The ACT leader's End of Life Choice Bill is being debated by MPs in Parliament for its second reading, which has sparked emotional speeches in the House. 

Collins, in her speech, reflected on her father who she said died 25 years ago from terminal bone cancer. She said he died with "massive amounts of morphine in his system". 

"He is someone who was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer and given a few weeks to live. He lived six weeks," Collins told Parliament. 

In hospital, Collins said her father said he was in "terrible pain" and said he needed morphine. He was given the morphine, Collins said, and "died without losing his dignity". 

"I have always been opposed to euthanasia as of right on the basis that people like my dad got to essentially tell everybody when they wanted to go - and I thought that was available to everybody... it's not available to everybody.

"It's not available for people like my dad who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and without a family saying, 'You give my dad everything he needs'."

Fighting back tears, Collins said she used to be opposed to assisted dying, but now believes giving people the choice to die with dignity is the right thing to do.

"I am on the right side now - everybody deserves some dignity in their lives. I would do it again, it's the right thing to do, and it preserved his dignity."

Collins also praised Seymour for championing the Bill. She noted how he gave up a ministerial career to continue his Private Members' Bill, which must be introduced by MPs who aren't acting on behalf of the executive branch.

"Mr Seymour may be extremely irritating, but that does not mean he does not have very genuinely held beliefs and he has shown utter commitment on this," Collins said. 

National MP Amy Adams - who plans to step down from politics in 2020 - also delivered an emotional speech in Parliament, reflecting on the death of her mother who suffered from melanoma. 

"I do not believe the state plays a role in how a person experiences their last days on Earth," Adams told Parliament. 

"All of us are affected by our own experiences in this issue - for me, it was watching my mother die a gruesome, painful and dehumanising death.

"And it wasn't because of lack of palliative care, and it wasn't because there wasn't every opportunity and drug available... what she wanted was to be able to choose exactly when that end would come in her last few days.

"This was a woman who was proud, independent, and intelligent, who knew what she wanted, and the last thing she wanted was to be able to have the ability to choose the time of her death."

Seymour's Bill passed its first reading 76 votes to 44, and only minor changes were made to the Bill before its second reading. 

Those minor changes to the Bill are what MPs are voting on. It's the third reading (if the second reading passes) to watch out for - when MPs vote on the Bill with its major amendments.

Newshub. 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz