David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill has gone further than any other euthanasia law proposed in New Zealand history, and today is the last chance for the public to have their say on the divisive issue.
Public submissions on the legislation close today, and the ACT Party MP spoke this morning on TVNZ 1's Breakfast to reiterated his arguments in support of the bill.
In particular, Mr Seymour stressed the numerous safe guards the bill contains against vulnerable people being pressured into euthanasia, or making the decision in an unaware state of mind.
"I'm not worried at all that somebody who has a disability will end up having an assisted death under my bill, that's not possible because they're not in that state of decline," Mr Seymour said.
"I am worried about the perception, I'm worried that people out there will say what you're really saying is 'some lives aren't worth living'."
Mr Seymour went on to deny this, saying the bill was all about control for the suffering individual.
Conditions within the bill for assisted dying are:
- Over 18-years-old
- New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- Suffering a terminal illness with a prognosis that it will end your life in the next six months
- Or, suffering a grievous and irremediable condition, such as a degenerative disease like Huntington's Disease, at an advanced state of decline that is irreversible
- Two doctors have to sign-off on the assisted dying. If one of the doctors believes the patient is unaware of the decision they're making, they must be referred to a psychologist