Assisted dying legal in New Zealand from today

Source: 1News

Assisted dying is now legal in New Zealand and can be requested by people who meet the criteria. 

Doctor holding patient's hand in hospital.

In October last year, two-thirds or 65.1 per cent of New Zealanders voted 'yes' in a referendum to bring the End of Life Choice Act into force. 

November 7, 2021, marks 12 months after the official results were released, enabling it to come into force.

Those who request an assisted death have to be a New Zealander aged over 18, suffering from a terminal illness that’s likely to end their life within six months, be in an advanced state of irreversible physical decline, be experiencing unbearable suffering that cannot be eased in a manner the person considers tolerable and also be competent to make an informed decision.

Reasons that can’t be used to request assisted dying include — being of advanced age, suffering from a mental disorder, or a mental illness or having a disability of any kind.

Assisted dying means the medication could be administered by a medical or nurse practitioner, or self-administrated.

If a medical or nurse practitioner suspects a person is being pressured into assisted dying , then no further action is allowed.

The End of Life Choice Act passed in Parliament on November 13, 2019.

MPs had voted in favour of a referendum a month earlier on October 23, 2019. 

The bill passed the first time in 2017 by 76-44, and the second 70-50 in June, 2019.