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11 November 2019

Critical Vote Needs Your Support

This Wednesday 13 November is the third and final debate on the End of Life Choice Bill. MPs will cast a critical vote to decide whether the Bill should pass and go to referendum, or fail.

While the Bill has received majority support throughout the process, we’re not out of the woods yet. A number of MPs have changed their votes in both directions over the past few months.

Opponents of this Bill will be bombarding MPs in the lead up to Wednesday night’s vote. We need your help to assure MPs that they’re making the right decision by voting YES and allowing the public to decide next year at the General Election.

This is the time for those of us who believe in compassion and choice to urge MPs to let all New Zealanders have their say by voting the Bill through Parliament at the third reading.

You can email any MP addressed to them at first name.lastname@parliament.govt.nz

You can tune in to watch the debate from around 4pm on https://www.parliament.nz/mi/watch-parliament/

Please share this message with friends and encourage them to sign up for further updates on End of Life Choice at https://www.lifechoice.org.nz/subscribe 

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24 October 2019

Big Win Adding Referendum to End of Life Choice Bill

Last night Parliament voted 63-57 to add a referendum provision to the End of Life Choice Bill. It was a critical vote for delivering on the goal of this campaign:the right of people suffering at the end of their life to choose how and when they go under a properly safeguarded process.

Adding the referendum means that New Zealand First will continue supporting the bill with their nine votes at the Third Reading to be held on November 13th. 

Critically, the vote that followed the vote on the referendum clause was won 66-54. That is an indication of where support sits for the bill in its entirety, but MPs have been changing their votes in both directions throughout the process.

The conclusion is, we're not there yet. Those of us who believe in compassion and choice will have to redouble our efforts over the coming three weeks in the lead up to November 13th. If we succeed there, we will have to ensure that the bill is not smeared by opponents in a referendum campaign expected to take place next year.

David Seymour would like to thank all of those who have helped so far. "We've got this far because we've had people inside and outside of Parliament diligently working for this bill. Now, in the final three weeks, I'm calling on everyone who's helped so far to redouble their efforts. We could still lose it all on November 13th if we don't get a majority in Parliament one more time.

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19 June 2019

Victorian Assisted Dying Law Comes Into Effect

Today the State of Victoria, Australia, enacts the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says, "We've taken a compassionate approach to give to people that choice, those options, that dignity hopefully for a good death which is a really important part of a good quality of life as well."

You can read more about how the Victorian legislation will work here: 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/113561090/assisted-dying-how-victorias-euthanasia-laws-will-work-in-australia 

Read the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 here: 

http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubStatbook.nsf/f932b66241ecf1b7ca256e92000e23be/B320E209775D253CCA2581ED00114C60/%24FILE/17-061aa%20authorised.pdf 

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17 April 2019

Law Professor Combats Maxim Institute Criticism of the End of Life Choice Bill

Andrew Geddis, law professor at the University of Otago, has come out in support of David Seymour's changes to the End of Life Choice Bill and its progress through parliament. 

In responding to criticism that the bill will be enacted via a "flawed process," Professor Geddis points out that the changes Mr Seymour wishes to make to the Bill to limit it to terminal illness only and provide for a referendum should have been made during the Select Committee stage but were blocked by opponents on the Committee worried that a limited bill might be more likely than the original bill to pass. 

Geddis goes on to rebut many criticisms from Alex Penk, chief executive of the Maxim Institute by saying the following:

"My suspicion is that these concerns don't really reflect an underlying judgment about whether people at their end of life are able to properly consent to treatment; after all, they already do so on multiple occasions every day.

Rather it comes from a fear that people will choose something those opposed to aid in dying just don't like."

You can read more here.

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10 April 2019

National Party Deputy Leader Paula Bennett supports End of Life Choice

National Party Deputy Leader Paula Bennett has today come out showing strong support for the End of Life Choice Bill, which will face its second reading in Parliament at the end of May. 

Hon Paula Bennett was asked her position on TVNZ Breakfast, and quickly followed up her comments by tweeting her position saying, "I believe in people having the choice to end their life with dignity under strict conditions which I believe the Bill does have."

She is the highest profile member of the National Party to pledge her support and says she made her decision after hearing from many families who want choice and from her experience working in a rest home. 

You can read more about her support here.

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28 March 2019

961 Otaki Residents Petition MP to vote YES

961 residents of Otaki have petitioned their local MP, Nathan Guy, to vote in favour of the End of Life Choice Bill at second reading later this year. 

The Kapiti-Horowhenua Branch of the End of Life Choice Society collected signatures from local residents at market stalls and shopping malls along the Kapiti Coast in a significant effort to show local support for the Bill. 

You can read more about the presentation of the petition here. 

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27 March 2019

New Jersey Legalises Assisted Dying, Shows NZ the Way

Senators in the state of New Jersey today voted to pass the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act 21 to 16, after it earlier passed through the state assembly with the wide margin of 41 to 33. 

 

“Now over nine million more people live in a state where they have the option to choose how they go and when they go if they are suffering at the end of their life,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. 

 

“New Jersey now becomes the eighth U.S. state to legalise assisted dying following California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

 

“The New Jersey Senate have acted with true compassion and courage in passing this law.

 

“New Zealand is not a world leader on assisted dying and MPs in New Zealand should take comfort in the legalisation of assisted dying in other jurisdictions when considering their own vote at the second reading of the End of Life Choice Bill later this year." 

 

New Jersey Governor Murphy has said, “Allowing terminally ill and dying residents the dignity to make end-of-life decisions according to their own consciences is the right thing to do. I look forward to signing this legislation into law.”

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09 June 2017

Parliament to vote on end of life choice

The question of whether terminally or irredeemably ill people should be allowed to choose to end their own life is to be decided in Parliament.

David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill has been pulled from the private members' ballot to be voted upon by MPs.

The Bill is likely to be a conscience vote. More... (Newshub)

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04 May 2016

MPs dodge assisted dying debate

ACT Leader David Seymour is deeply disappointed at certain National MPs’ choice to veto debate on the End of Life Choice Bill.

“National MPs’ blockage of the debate is a sad display of political sidestepping. Acknowledging the most critical issues faced by New Zealanders is literally what MPs are paid to do. But thanks to the actions of certain MPs today, we don’t even get a debate." More... (ACT New Zealand)

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