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Euthanasia submissions top 20,000

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/08/2016

A parliamentary select committee has received more than 20,000 submissions as part of its inquiry into public attitudes towards assisted dying.

The inquiry is in response to a petition presented to parliament a year ago by former Labour MP Maryan Street, who is now president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.

The petition carried nearly 9000 signatures and asked parliament "to investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable".

The chairman of the health select committee, National MP Simon O'Connor, says more than 21,400 written submissions have been processed and the next step is to begin oral hearings around the country.

ACT leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill hasn't yet been drawn from the members' bill ballot.

The debate around voluntary euthanasia was re-ignited last year by the highly-publicised plight of Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales, who died from a brain tumour hours after she was told the High Court had ruled against her bid to choose when she could die.

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