End of Life Choice Bill – First Reading

David Seymour introduced his End of Life Choice Bill to be read a first time in Parliament last night.

It passed the first vote by a comfortable 76 votes to 44.

This is a big achievement for Seymour, and a good victory for Matt Vickers, who was in Parliament for the first reading.

It doesn’t mean the Bill will get an easy passage through Parliament. It is likely to be strongly debated in the committee stage and there is certain to be many strong submissions for and against the Bill.

The Aye vote (with Noes also indicated):

Interesting to see Dr Jonathan Coleman and Dr Liz Craig voted for the bill, and Dr Shane Reti voted against.

It would have been a travesty if the Bill had not passed the first reading, which would have denied full debate and public submissions.

The Bill may be amended, and it has two more votes to go before it succeeds or fails.

Links to all the First Reading speeches, videos and transcripts:

Health select committee agrees to euthanasia inquiry

In response to a petition presented to Parliament by the Voluntary Euthanasia  the Health Select Committee has agreed to investigate matters raised by the petition.

NZ Herald reports: Parliament to hold euthanasia inquiry following Lecretia Seales’ death

An inquiry into voluntary euthanasia is to be carried out by Parliament – a process supporters hope will be an important step towards a law change.

Today’s announcement comes after a petition from the Voluntary Euthanasia Society was presented to Parliament by supporters including Matt Vickers, the husband of the late Lecretia Seales.

The petition, signed by former Labour MP Maryan Street and 8,974 others, asked that Parliament’s health and select committee “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”.

It will set-up an inquiry to “fully investigate the matters raised by the petition”, health committee chair Simon O’Connor said.

The terms of reference will be drafted over the next few weeks, which will form the outline of that investigation.

“This is an important subject and the committee needs to think carefully about the best way to examine it,” Mr O’Connor said.

“I would like to see a thorough investigation that covers as many aspects of this topic as possible in a responsible and robust manner.”

It’s impossible to know where this may lead, if anywhere, but i think it’s time Parliament properly and comprehensively looked at the pros and cons of voluntary euthanasia, the right to choose how we die etc.