What now for Lecretia Seales?

Of course there’s little left for Lecretia Seales except her funeral. Except that in her memory it’s possible she might prompt some political action on assisted dying or euthanasia.

In a media conference today her husband Matt Vickers said how disappointed Lecretia and he were with the news that her legal action had been turned down by the court (Judge Collins).

NZH reports Lecretia Seales’s husband: ‘Her reaction utterly broke my heart’

“On Tuesday night I relayed Justice Collins’ decision to Lecretia. I explained she would not be able to seek assistance to die, and nature would need to run its course, and that her mother and I would do everything we could to make her comfortable and pain free.

“Lecretia listened to me as I explained the decision. Even though she couldn’t speak, she was able to share her feelings through her expression. There was no mistaking her response.

“She was hurt and disappointed. She fixed me with a stare with her good eye as if to say, ‘isn’t this my body? My life? Her breath slowed and she turned her head away. Her reaction utterly broke my heart.”

Very sad but not really surprising. Judge Collins has said that Parliament needs to deal with it.

Mr Vickers said the judgment was not what they wanted, but did make it clear that the law is “paternalistic, overly-protective and rooted in the past”.

He said Parliament had to work across party lines to ensure the issue reached select committee stage. That would enable the facts and overseas evidence to be properly examined and debated.

“We must respect the autonomy and dignity of terminally ill people like Lecretia and say, ‘yes, we respect your wish to go your way’. Anything else is paternalistic. Anything else says, ‘I know better than you’.
“I implore our Prime Minister, who only two weeks ago said publicly that he would welcome a debate, to actually initiate that debate and to not defer it and wait for a private member’s bill, which may not see it debated for months or years.

“This debate needs to happen now. Prime Minister, I urge you to give the public what they want and start the debate. I urge you to follow my wife’s example and to be a courageous leader…let us give Lecretia her legacy.

That sounds like something worthwhile for Lecretia’s legacy.

It’s now up to the MPs and the parties to do something about it.

Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  5th June 2015

    When we are killing the old, disabled and depressed because its convenient a la Belgium I’ll think of her legacy. Too much emotion is always a killer of sensible debate.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th June 2015

      Switzerland legalised assisted suicide 70 years ago. The sky failed to fall in.

  2. But its still an issue that needs debating. Key might wait till after the flag referendum, don’t want to spook the punters with too much social change in one year.

  3. kittycatkin

     /  6th June 2015

    It’s something that MUST be debated at great length-and I would hate involuntary euthanasia to be an option.


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