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New Govt body formed ahead of euthanasia legalisation

A new statutory body has been established ahead of euthanasia becoming legal in New Zealand in November. 

Source: 1 NEWS

The Support and Consultation for End of Life in New Zealand group (SCENZ) is charged with maintaining and providing a list of medical practitioners and psychiatrists as part of the service when required. 

The 11-person group will “support the development of the standards of care for medicines as part of the implementation of the [End of Life Choice] Act". 

Appointed by the Director-General of Health, the team will serve a term for two years. 

"The calibre of candidates was extremely high, and the members together bring significant clinical and health and disability sector experience,” Dr Bloomfield said.

“The SCENZ group brings collective experience in the awareness of Te Ao Māori and an understanding of Tikanga Māori; clinical expertise, expertise in ethics and law, and the disability sector; and includes representation of the views of patients, whānau and the community.

"Membership includes health professionals, among them a psychiatrist, a pharmacist, and a nurse practitioner, all of them currently practising.”

The group includes: 

  • Dr Caroline Ansley - a general practitioner based in Christchurch
  • Dr Michael Austen - a Wellington-based specialist physician in occupational and environmental medicine and urgent care
  • Dr Kynan Bazley - currently a general practitioner based in Nelson
  • Heather Browning - a director and owner of a company providing service audits and projects, largely in the disability sector
  • Dr Gary Cheung - currently a specialist old age psychiatrist working at the University of Auckland and Auckland DHB  
  • Máté Hegedus-Gaspar - currently a pharmacist and pharmacy manager based in Christchurch
  • Dr Te Hurinui Karaka-Clarke - the deputy head of school/senior lecturer at the College of Education at the University of Canterbury
  • Leanne Manson - currently a policy analyst Māori for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation based in Wellington
  • Philip Patston - a company director and owner based in Auckland
  • Dr Jackie Robinson - a senior lecturer and nurse practitioner at the University of Auckland
  • Dr Jessica Young - a post-doctoral fellow at the School of Health, Victoria University of Wellington

SCENZ will also work closely with the secretariat of the assisted dying service.

Euthanasia becomes legally available in the country from 7 November this year.