Auckland, August 21, 2017
2014 New Zealander of the year, Dr Lance OSullivan, has publicly joined the three-quarters of New Zealanders who support a law change to allow assisted dying.
In a piece on TVNZs Sundayprogramme, he outlined his support for the End of Life Choice Bill, saying this gives people greater choice, and say, in how to manage their end of life experience.
He joins high-profile New Zealanders who have supported assisted dying. People like Mike Hosking, Duncan Garner, Jake Bailey, and the late Helen Kelly have also expressed their support for this choice.
I thank Dr OSullivan for speaking out in support of this choice. He has a unique perspective on this, as a doctor, Mori, and as a practising Catholic.
Lances courage in coming forward is significant. Many in his position would choose not to rock the boat, when opponents of change are so vocal.
The law change I am proposing will help only a small number of dying New Zealanders, but for them and their loved ones, this is the most important thing Parliament can do.
Support across the political spectrum is growing for this change.
Lance is a prominent supporter of the Mori Party, and he joins the many ACT, National, Labour, Green, and NZ First voters who want to see this change.
I particularly thank Lance for clarifying that the safeguards in my Bill are robust. Important requirements in my Bill, like grievous and irremediable condition, and advanced state of irreversible decline, are phrased in terms understood by doctors and they create a narrow scope for assisted dying.
Only those with the worst incurable illnesses, and the most suffering, will be eligible under my Bill.
Dr OSullivan said in the Sunday piece that I do believe that there are enough safeguards within the Bill to ensure that we could have this option put on the table, in a safe way.
The Attorney-General also recently released a report confirming that the Bill has a comprehensive regime for determining eligibility, and is tightly circumscribed in its application.
David Seymour is a Member of Parliament elected from the Epsom Constituency and Leader of ACT Party. He is the Sponsor of the End of Life Choice Bill.