New Zealand Progressive on Assisted Dying

The Economist November 7th 2020 |Asia|Banyan|Islands of liberality| “New Zealand legalizes assisted dying, among other progressive steps”



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The fact that New Zealand (NZ) has twice elected a liberal female as prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, who has surrounded herself with the most diverse cabinet in NZ’s history is really just “emblematic” of their progressive vision-NZ was first to give women the vote for example. Recently, after “a massacre of Muslim worshippers last year, she swiftly implemented a ban on semi-automatic weapons” and her governments top priorities include climate change and the environment. Andrew Geddis (University of Otago) notes NZ’s public face “says something about how we’re changing as a society and what we’re comfortable with showing the world.” Leading the conversation to the latest outcomes of nationwide elections recently. …”voters answered one question on their ballot paper: should New Zealand legalise assisted dying for those with a terminal illness.” With final tallies still forthcoming it appears 2/3 responded yes. Details follow from legislation known as the “End of Life Choice Act” that while passed parliment required a public vote to affirm. “It requires you to be suffering from a terminal illness that is likely to end your life within six months, to be showing a significant decline in physical capability and to be able to make an informed decision.” NZ therefore becomes the seventh country to legalize “assisted dying”. As a side note, more than half of voters rejected full legalization of cannabis effectively choosing to not-encourage use but rather just keep use as decriminalized.

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