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The NZ Government has released the following information:
This referendum will give the public the opportunity to vote on whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019 should come into force.
The question is:
Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?
For consistency, and to ensure that references to the Act are accurate, this website uses the terminology of the Act. But this does not signal a preference for this terminology over any other. There is no Government position for or against the End of Life Choice Act 2019.
Assisted dying. In the End of life Choice Act 2019, this means:
Medication. In the End of Life Choice Act 2019, this means the lethal dose of the medication.
The Act is built on three core elements:
To be eligible for assisted dying, a person must meet ALL of these criteria:
A person will not be eligible for assisted dying because they are suffering from any form of mental disorder or mental illness, have a disability of any kind, or are elderly.
A person is competent to make an informed decision about assisted dying if they can:
A medical practitioner must do their best to ensure that a person's choice to access assisted dying is made of their own free will. The End of Life Choice Act 2019 contains several provisions that seek to ensure this. This includes requiring that the medical practitioner:
If the medical practitioner suspects a person is being pressured about their decision, they must stop the process.
A health practitioner does not have to assist a person with assisted dying if they have a conscientious objection.
The process begins with an initial request from the person to their medical practitioner. A medical practitioner is not allowed to suggest to a person that they consider assisted dying.
Two medical practitioners must agree that the person meets all the criteria for assisted dying and is competent to make the request. If either medical practitioner is unsure of the person's competence, a third opinion from a psychiatrist is required. If a person is ineligible or not competent, the process ends. The person may not access assisted dying.
If the person is eligible and competent, they select a method for receiving the medication, and when they want to receive it.
At the chosen time of administration, their medical practitioner or nurse practitioner must ask the person if they choose to receive the medication. If the person chooses to receive it, the medical practitioner administers it. They must be available to the person until they die. If the person does not want to receive the medication, it must be taken away.
If more than 50% of voters vote 'Yes' in the referendum, the End of life Choice Act 2019 will come into force 12 months after the date the final votes are announced. If more than 50% of voters vote ‘No' in the referendum, the End of life Choice Act 2019 will not come into force and the current law will remain.
End of Life Choice Act 2019's information on the Parliament's website
End of Life Choice Act 2019
Final report of the Justice Committee to Parliament on the End of Life Choice Bill (PDF, 452KB)
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