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Greens back voluntary euthanasia

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/09/2016

The Greens have has decided to support voluntary euthanasia, provided there are sufficient safeguards.

The party released its policy on Thursday.

"The Green Party will support a law change that allows an individual access to medically-assisted dying," the policy says, and then lists the safeguards:

They include rigorous assessment to ensure an individual has decision-making capability and is making an informed decision, a "reflective period" is provided before it can happen, it is administered under medical supervision, and there is oversight to ensure compliance with the legal requirements.

The policy applies to people aged 18 and over who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and says they should have the right to choose to end their life in a supported and open way.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says the party has been working on it for a long time.

"We think it meets the needs of terminally ill New Zealanders who have a right to dignity and want the right to choose the end of their lives," she said.

"We think our policy finds that balance."

Parliament's health select committee is currently hearing public submissions on voluntary euthanasia and will report its conclusions to parliament.

The inquiry is in response to a petition asking for a law change.

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