TODAY |

Widower of euthanasia campaigner Lecretia Seales gives 'best gift' on what would have been her birthday

On what would have been her 46th birthday, euthanasia campaigner Lecretia Seales' widower appeared on national television today to continue the fight for a law change that she passionately pushed until the end of her life.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Matt Vickers told TVNZ1's Breakfast he would continue to fight for terminally ill people's right to choose when they die. Source: Breakfast

Ms Seales was a New Zealand lawyer who had a brain tumour and was enduring treatments for it. During her journey with the illness, she became an advocate of physician-assisted dying.

She was diagnosed in 2011, but by 2015 treatment options had run out. She sued the New Zealand Government for her right to die but lost the case in the High Court.

Her husband, Matt Vickers, today told TVNZ1's Breakfast that despite 90% of public comments being in opposition to ACT leader David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill, he would continue to fight for terminally ill people's right to choose when they die.

"I feel like best gift I can give her [for her 46th birthday] is to try and keep this issue going and hopefully to change the legislation in this country."

There have been 38,000 submissions on the End of Life Choice Bill - more than 90% against - but Mr Vickers believes the sway came from a "very motivated minority" that have come out opposing the law. The same thing had happened with other legislation, including the anti-smacking bill and the civil union act, he said.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The Wellington lawyer who reignited the euthanasia debate in New Zealand was laid to rest today. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Vickers, who acknowledged he was initially hesitant of the idea himself, said he hopes people will get educated on the subject - including looking at how similar legislation has played out overseas.

"I think by restricting it to the terminally ill, I think that we assuage some of those fears and doubts; and we make it very clear that it's a question of how someone dies, not rather someone choosing to die just because they want to," he said.

"They're already going to die anyway, so it's a question of how that happens and I think that's the right legislation for New Zealand."

Mr Vickers said his wife would be pleased the conversation is still going.

"I think that she'd be heartened that we are considering this. I think she'd be thrilled that the proposed law has made it this far. I think that perhaps she'd be a little disappointed that some people in this debate are willing to use fear, uncertainty and doubt to get their way and to not engage with the evidence."