Referendum next step for End of Life Choice Bill

David Seymour. Photo: ODT files
David Seymour. Photo: ODT files
The decision is now in New Zealanders' hands.

Parliament last night voted to legalise assisted dying for the terminally ill, pending a referendum at next year's general election.

The End of Life Choice Bill was passed by 69 votes to 51, ending the latest chapter in a lengthy debate - but leaving a resolution to voters.

Bill sponsor Act New Zealand MP David Seymour said people across the country told him they wanted to choose to not have a bad death. Safeguards would protect the vulnerable and the ill would have the right to choose.

Some MPs drew upon their own experience to explain their support but Dunedin-based National Party List MP Michael Woodhouse reminded them personal experience did not make one an expert in end-of-life care.

Euthanasia-Free NZ warned the Bill lacked safeguards, while the End-of-Life Choice Society welcomed a referendum confirming compassionate laws allowing freedom of choice.

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