Seales' husband delivers euthanasia petition

Author
Felix Marwick ,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 1:12p.m.
Lecretia Seales (Supplied)
Lecretia Seales (Supplied)

Lecretia Seales' widower is hopeful politicians will look into the issue of voluntary euthanasia.

Matt Vickers has been among those who've presented an over 8000 signature petition to parliament today calling for a formal inquiry in current laws around assisted deaths

He's is confident MPs will heed the petition, and also the comments from the Courts, that it is a matter for Parliament.

"I certainly hope they have the courage," Vickers said. "My wife showed a lot of courage taking this to the courts and as a results of that I think we built up a huge groundswell of support across New Zealand."

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has called for a referendum on whether euthanasia should be legalised, however Justice Minister Amy Adams said a referendum on such a controversial issue wouldn't be appropriate.

Chris Bishop was one of the MPs presented with the petition. He believes in every party, including his own, there will be a range of issues on the debate.

"For my part, with my conscience, voluntary euthanasia is an individual liberty and it's actually about human dignity," Bishop said. 

Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie, however, is urging caution, particularly around claims a law change would allow choice in the right to die.

"What the international research clearly shows is that a lot of euthanasia happens without consent, and without choice and that should disturb all of us," he said.