Dying NZ woman takes fight for right to assisted death to High Court

A New Zealand woman who is dying of an inoperable brain tumour is taking her fight to be given the right to die when she wants to the High Court.

Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2011 at the age of just 37.

Despite undergoing surgery and a range of drug therapies to try and keep the tumour at bay, recent MRI scans show it is advancing and doctors have told her she may only have months to live.

Armed with that knowledge, Ms Seales is asking the Court for a judgement that would ensure her GP won't face charges if and when she assists her to die.

"I am the one who has been inflicted with this disease, no one else. It is my life that has been cut short," says Ms Seales.

"So who else but me should have the authority to decide if and when the disease and its effects are so intolerable that I would prefer to die?"

Ms Seales says she understands the need to protect vulnerable people who could seek to end their lives but that it shouldn't be so difficult for her or any New Zealander to exercise their human rights.

"I am simply saying that I, Lecretia Seales, a human being confronted with the inescapable reality of my death, and the prospect of great suffering - for me and those who love me - must have the right to determine when I have reached the end of the road. This right belongs to me and none other."

Her case follows a decision by Canada's Supreme Court last month that found the country's ban on doctors participating in assisted dying infringed human rights.

Ms Seales' claim, which she filed in Wellington yesterday, argues that if she isn't allowed access to a doctor to help her die she will face a "cruel choice between taking her own life through potentially violent, painful and ineffective means, or suffering intolerably from a potentially slow, painful and undignified death."

A Wellington lawyer dying of a brain tumour is taking legal action. Source: 1 NEWS


Kiwi singer joins team on plastic bottle paddling adventure

Kiwi singer Jamie McDell is among a group of twelve young innovators and leaders that will set off tomorrow on a three-day journey along the Abel Tasman coastline in plastic bottle kayaks. 

The four kayaks are made entirely of recycled materials and were constructed at Auckland's Museum of Technology and Transport (MOTAT).

The adventure is part of mission to promote sustainability, particularly in schools, and each plastic bottle contains artwork and words of support from thousands of schoolchildren who are following the journey.

Not only are the kayaks sustainable but all of the food and supplies the paddlers are taking with them are prepared to cut down on waste.

The team will today travel the Cook Strait in order to reach their starting point before setting out tomorrow morning.

It's the second such expedition of its kind. Last year a team kayaked 100km down the Whanganui River.

The songstress is joining a team of 12 on a trip around the Abel Tasman coastline in a kayak made from plastic bottles.



Wellington sun to shine on New Zealand and West Indies

New Zealand and the West Indies can expect good conditions for their Cricket World Cup quarter-final clash in Wellington today.

ONE News weatherman Dan Corbett said players and fans at the Wellington Regional Stadium can look forward to northerlies and a maximum temperature of 19 degrees Celsius.

The winner of the match will meet South Africa in Tuesday's semi-final at Eden Park.

There will be clear skies and cooler temperatures for much of the country this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS