Euthanasia bill could get green light by Christmas

Long Lunch 06/03/2018
Photo: Getty.

ACT Party leader David Seymour is hoping to get his End of Life Choice bill over the line by the end of the year.

Mr Seymour joined Wendyl Nissen on The Long Lunch to discuss the reality of getting the Bill approved.

Public submissions for the End of Life Choice bill end tonight. The bill would allow New Zealanders 18 and over who suffer from a terminal illness to end their life within six months, or a grievous and untreatable medical condition, to choose an assisted death.

More than 14,000 submissions have already been lodged.

Mr Seymour says he never held a strong opinion about euthanasia until he visited a rest home and asked for a show of hands from people who thought Kiwis should be able to choose the right to die on their own terms.

The 100 percent response from those in attendance was enough to make him think something needed to be done. 

Mr Seymour pointed out that the Bill could pass before 2019 if the majority of Parliament approves the Bill. However, if the decision is passed on to the public (a move supported by NZ First), the bill could get furthered delayed.

“I’m prepared to promote [a referendum] if it secures their votes,” he told RadioLIVE. 

According to the latest Newshub Reid Research poll, the vast majority of New Zealanders support euthanasia.

However those in the medical profession are split on the issue. While just 37 percent of doctors support assisted dying in New Zealand, 67 percent of nurses support it. 

Listen to the full interview with David Seymour above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.