End of Life Choice Act takes effect next month making assisted dying legal in New Zealand

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 11, 2021 |

The End of Life Choice Act takes effect next month making assisted dying legal in New Zealand.

From 7 November, people who “experience unbearable suffering from a terminal illness will be able to legally ask for medical assistance to end their lives.”

In a statement, the Canterbury District Health Board said Assisted dying will be an entirely new service within the health and disability system and provides another option for people with a terminal illness in specific circumstances.

Health Minister Andrew Little said the Government has appointed a three-person specialist committee to oversee the operation of the Act.

Membership of the End of Life Review Committee must include a medical ethicist, a doctor specialising in end-of-life care and a health practitioner.

The first three members of the committee are Dr Dana Wensley, medical ethicist,  Ms Belinda Close, health practitioner and Dr Jane Greville, medical practitioner practising end-of-life care.

Andrew Little said the Government had also put in place funding, through the Ministry of Health.

“The Government is committed to ensuring health services are available equally to everyone who needs them, and this includes assisted-dying services.”

“We expect that in most circumstances, these services will be provided in the community and will be free for people who meet the strict eligibility criteria.”

“Medical and nurse practitioners who provide care as part of the assisted-dying service will be paid for their work and for their travel costs.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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