TODAY |

Q+A debate: David Seymour and Alfred Ngaro on legalising assisted dying

As the referendum nears on whether or not to have the End Of Life Choice Act 2019 come into force, MPs David Seymour and Alfred Ngaro laid out their differing perspectives on assisted dying in a Q+A debate.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The MPs appeared on TVNZ1's Q+A ahead of this year's referendum on the issue. Source: Q+A

"It's about the dignity of people who have lived good lives and want their death to carry on the same way," Seymour told TVNZ1's Q+A. 

"People have compassion for others, they've seen bad death. 

"It is a shift to give people the ability under the rule of law to choose how they go and when they go."

Ngaro said legalising assisted dying "would change the basic laws of the land for state sanctioned killing in our nation".  

He said there was "just too many risks" and described the act as "so broad and open". 

"It doesn't get any more important than this, this is life and death."

On whether terminally ill people should be given choice, Ngaro said New Zealand already offered choice, through forfeiting any form of medical treatment. 

"Euthanasia and assisted suicide is a lethal dose to kill."

He said care facilities and palliative care was there for people at the end of their life. 

On the issue of improving palliative care, Seymour said it was "great but it doesn't help everybody". 

"My own mother died in a hospice with palliative care, but it's not enough for everyone," he said.

"If you look around the world in countries that have assisted dying, they also have better palliative care than those that don't. They're not competing alternatives, they're complementary."

Watch the video above for the full debate. 

For more information on the referendum, go to https://www.referendums.govt.nz/endoflifechoice/index.html