Tuesday, October 22, 2019

New Zealand considers referendum on euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

New Zealand Parliament
The New Zealand parliament has been debating a euthanasia bill for many months. Parliament will now be voting on a referendum bill based on the fact that the New Zealand First party decided that they will not support the "End of Life Choice" without a referendum on the issue.

New Zealand Herald article by Boris Jancic and Chris Knox, argues that the euthanasia bill will have a hard time passing without the support of members of the New Zealand First party. The article states:
A crucial vote on whether to hold a referendum on legalising voluntary euthanasia looks set to go down to the wire, according to a poll of all MPs. 
Act Leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill will return to Parliament on Wednesday and politicians will have to decide whether the final decision should be put to the public if it passes a third reading. 
If the referendum is rejected, the entire bill – which would let terminally-ill adults request assisted dying – will struggle to pass into law at the third vote, with New Zealand First looking like it may pull its support unless there's a referendum.
The article then states that the Herald has polled every MP and found that 56 MP's plan to support the referendum, 46 plan to oppose the referendum and 18 wouldn't say how they planned to vote. 61 votes are needed to pass legislation.

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