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Euthanasia debate looking likely for Parliament

Felix Marwick,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 24 June 2015, 5:16a.m.
Lecretia Seales (Supplied)

UPDATE 8.43am: MPs on Parliament's Justice and Electoral Select Committee will be free to make up their own minds on whether new laws on euthanasia are needed.

A petition's gone to Parliament formally calling for such a step to be taken.

Lecretia Seales' widower Matt Vickers was among those who presented an over 8000 signature petition to parliament yesterday calling for a formal inquiry in current laws around assisted deaths.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the Government's got no issues with the committee looking into that matter should it choose to.

She said "the Select Committee will make it's own determination, but the government has made it quite clear that we're certainly not going to try and direct our members one way or the other."

"As the Minister responsible for this area I'm certainly comfortable with having an enquiry."

ACT Leader David Seymour's presenting his international evidence to support his push for legal euthanasia.

He's come up against lobby group Family First, who are opposing any move for a law change.

Spokesman Bob McCoskrie said international research clearly shows a lot of euthanasia happens without consent and without choice.

But Mr Seymour said his support for a law change was based on international evidence that shows that in jurisdictions that allow assisted death the average drop in life expectancy is just 10 days.

"What possible motive could you have for reducing someone's life by 10 days, unless they themselves were suffering intolerably and wanted to make that choice."

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