Euthanasia debate: Labour MP Kris Faafoi pleads for colleagues not to drag it out

A Labour MP hopes those opposed to David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill don't drag out the process of making it law.

The Bill, which would legalise assisted dying under strict circumstances, passed its second reading on Wednesday. It now goes to the Committee of the whole House, during which MPs can debate its merits and flaws at length - there's no time limit on the debates which, according to Parliament's own website, can roll on for days. 

Kris Faafoi, who backs the Bill, hopes by then most MPs will have made up their minds on how they're going to vote.

"If those who are opposed are going to try and jimmy the system to drag it out, I don't think that gives the debate the dignity that it needs," he told The AM Show on Friday.

"If it becomes a farce, I don't think that's the kind of dignified debate that New Zealanders want us to have on this issue." 

ACT leader Seymour said he was surprised by the 70-50 margin in favour at the second reading - relatively comfortable for a conscience vote on such a fractious topic.

"Lots of people keep dogmatic positions but MPs are actually changing their mind on this," he told The AM Show on Thursday.

National's Judith Collins is one of those. 

"It was really hard, and I had seriously been thinking about this all year. It's been troubling me," she told The AM Show.

"I always said we didn't need to have a law change because people like my dad, they just basically got lots of morphine and went. I thought that was available. And then I found out some families, nope."

She talked about her father's death from bone cancer at the second reading, saying he was in "terrible pain" - so was given morphine and "died without losing his dignity". 

"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."

Faafoi praised Collins' change of heart.

"Can I just commend Judith on her speech? I think she encapsulated the situation really well. I agree with her."



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