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Labour MP tables euthanasia bill

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/11/2016
Lecretia Seales © Supplied Lecretia Seales

The widow of assisted dying campaigner Lecretia Seales says he's hopeful legislation will be before parliament soon after a second MP submitted a euthanasia bill.

Labour MP Louisa Wall's Authorised Dying Bill was expected to be tabled at parliament's Health Select Committee meeting on Friday.

Matt Vickers says it's great to see an MP from one of New Zealand's major political parties pick up the issue.

Ms Wall's bill is similar to that of Act leader David Seymour, whose private member's bill is in the ballot, but contains additional safeguards, he said.

"Although those safeguards have not proven necessary in other parts of the world, if implemented in New Zealand they would make our laws among the world's strictest and safest," he said.

"The question is whether that extra level of protection is necessary, and perhaps the Health Select Committee's current investigation will provide a perspective on that."

The committee is considering the public's attitudes towards assisted dying, hearing oral submissions of more than 1800 people following a petition by former Labour MP Maryan Street.

Mr Vickers said he wanted to see legislation debated and potential safeguards assessed on their merits.

"The possibility of two bills in the member's ballot, from Act and Labour MPs, along with the Greens adopting a party policy in support of assisted dying legislative change, has created a great deal of forward momentum," he said.

"We're hopeful we'll see legislation before the House very soon."

Ms Seales died in June last year, the same day as the High Court rejected her bid for assisted dying.

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