New Zealanders’ thoughts on medically-assisted dying

24 August 2016

The Health Committee is investigating the choice to end one’s life. This comes in response to a petition presented to Parliament by Maryan Street.

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What are your thoughts on terminally ill people being given medical assistance to die?  What about if someone has an irreversible condition which makes their life unbearable?  The Health Select Committee is considering your views on these questions with the petition of Hon Maryan Street and 8,974 others. 

What is this petition about?

  • The petition requests that the House of Representatives investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable.
  • The petition is asking for a change to the existing law.

What is the committee considering?

The committee has asked for New Zealander’s views on:

  • What factors contribute to wanting to end a person’s life?
  • How effective are services and support for people wanting to end their own life?
  • What are your thoughts on a person ending their own life?
  • What are your thoughts on the current laws?
  • Do you have any international experience of these issues?

What happens next?

Submissions closed on 1 February 2016. The committee has read through the submissions and put them on the Parliament website. 

The committee then hears from people who indicated in their submission that they would like to appear before the committee.  This may be also outside of Wellington depending on the number of submitters from each region.

After the committee has heard from submitters, they’ll write a report which may or not may make recommendations.  The committee can make a recommendation to anyone it wishes, but they are most commonly addressed to the Government, the House of Representatives or to other groups.  Recommendations are not binding and only recommendations to the Government require a response.