New Zealand Parliament approves referendum on euthanasia

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand parliament has been debating a euthanasia bill for many months. On October 23, the New Zealand parliament agreed to a referendum enabling the people to decide if they want to legalize euthanasia, based on the David Seymour euthanasia bill.

According to a Newshub article, the decision to have a euthanasia referendum passed by a close vote (63 to 57). The referendum was approved after the New Zealand First party stated that they would not support the “End of Life Choice” euthanasia bill without a referendum.

Channelnewsasia reported that New Zealand National Party lawmaker Harete Hipango described the euthanasia legislation as “abhorrent, repugnant and also dangerous.”

“This is a kill bill. My focus and my intention is that I seek to kill this bill because of the repugnancy of what it intends to do,” he said.

“The state has a duty of care to protect our most vulnerable.”

The referendum will take place at the same time as the general election next year.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition does not take a position on whether a referendum is a good way to deal with the issue, but we will be providing information and educational research to the people who lead the No campaign.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.