Tuesday, 12 October 2021

ACT welcomes End of Life Choice milestone


“ACT welcomes today’s End of Life Review Committee appointments, the final milestone before the legislation comes into effect next month,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Since Michael Laws first introduced an Assisted Dying Bill in 1995, there has been a long road to making compassion and choice real. Today the final practical building blocks are in place.

“The Review Committee will ensure there is compliance under the act by reviewing the details of each and every case. Its role is a critical part of the comprehensive safeguards put in place under the Act.

“When passing the End of Life Choice Act, we were told by overseas officials that putting the details in place would take longer than 18 months. The New Zealand Ministry of Health has put in place regulations, set up the Support and Consultation for End of Life NZ (SCENZ) group, register medical professionals, launch learning and training modules and put in place funding mechanisms in a year, with an epidemic going on.

“We are thrilled at the number of doctors who have signed up and taken training to offer choice under the Act. Opponents long taunted us that no doctor would want to help suffering patients by offering Assisted Dying. They were simply wrong.

“On November 7, New Zealanders will be able to access the End of Life Choice Act, with those who are suffering able to end their lives in peace and dignity surrounded by loved ones.

“We say that a society should be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. Very soon our country will give those who face terrible suffering at the end of their life compassion and choice. It will be a good day to be a Kiwi.

“I'm proud of the work ACT and David Seymour did to champion the End of Life Choice Act through Parliament and through a nationwide referendum.

“We heard overwhelmingly from thousands of members of the public at public meetings, in person, and in the referendum result that this is a choice they wished for themselves and others.”