David Seymour, MP for Epsom, has lodged a Bill on assisted dying in Parliament’s Members’ ballot today.
“The End of Life Choice Bill is a response to the anguish faced by a small but significant minority of people with terminal illness or who are grievously and irremediably ill, as they anticipate the prospect of intolerable suffering and the indignity of the final few days and weeks of their lives,” said Mr Seymour.
“The motivation for this Bill is compassion. It allows people who so choose and are eligible under this Bill to end their life in peace and dignity, surrounded by loved ones.
“The Bill carefully defines those eligible for assisted dying. It details a comprehensive set of provisions to ensure this is a free choice made without coercion, and outlines a stringent series of steps to ensure the person is mentally capable of understanding the nature and consequences of assisted dying.
“It is evident from polls that a substantial majority of the public want Parliamentarians to consider assisted dying legislation.
“In fact, an independent poll of 2,800 people which I have commissioned on this issue shows 66% of the public favour allowing assisted dying – 38% strongly in favour – and 20% oppose. Support is remarkably steady across age groups, rural and urban areas, and genders.
“This should give a clear message to Parliamentarians that the public wants this issue addressed. If this Bill is drawn, I hope MPs will support it through its First Reading, so the many complex issues can be considered through the select committee process.”
David Seymour has also launched a website which will act as an information source and campaign hub, at www.lifechoice.org.nz. The Bill can be viewed here. Polling data from Curia can be read here.