Thursday, 3 December 2020

End of Life Choice Act off to a good start

“ACT is encouraged by the approach being taken by the Health Minister to ensure the Ministry of Health meets its obligations under the End of Life Choice Act,” ACT Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden says.

“New Zealanders overwhelming voted in favour of the End of Life Choice Act and the Ministry of Health has until 7 November 2021 to ensure it is implemented.

“The Ministry has a lot to do over the coming months to implement the Act and I’m encouraged to learn that 10 work streams are underway to achieve that.

“Particularly important is the establishment of a Support and Consultation for End of Life in New Zealand (SCENZ) Group with a range of responsibilities relating to doctors, psychiatrists and pharmacies involved in delivering assisted dying.

“I welcome the Minister’s commitment in Parliament today to publishing a timetable for setting up the SCENZ Group, the Registrar’s Office and the Review Committee so the medical community and all other interested parties can familiarise themselves with the work programme.

“I also welcome the Minister’s offer for ACT – as the End of Life Choice Act’s sponsors – to be actively engaged in the rollout.

“We look forward to engaging with the Ministry of Health on that process.

“While we’re off to a good start, much is expected and required to ensure the End of Life Choice Act is fully operative from day one.

“ACT will be monitoring the process to ensure it is.”