MPs, parties split on euthanasia issue

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 11:02AM

The End of Life Choice Bill is proving to be a tough choice for some MPs.

David Seymour's bill is due for its second reading in Parliament tonight if there is enough time in the debate.

If it passes, it then faces a wall of opposition, with National MP Maggie Barry proposing more than 100 amendments, which could push debate into next year.

Seymour has said he'll compromise on who should be eligible for assisted dying, limiting it to people with six months to live, but Barry wants doctors removed from the process.

Napier MP Stuart Nash says it's disappointing she's playing a spoiler role, considering the issue has been round the traps.

However, he told Mike Hosking it's a tricky issue.

"I polled my people and 65 per cent said they wanted me to vote for it and 15 per cent said they didn't want me to vote for it, so I am going to vote for it based on that."

Mark Mitchell also polled his constituents and 55 percent are against it and 45 percent are for it.

"In its present form, its a no brainer, of course you would vote against it. But then I'm torn about whether I vote for it and let it through and then go back and have the changes made."

The Green Party's support for the End of Life Choice Bill will hinge on whether it's narrowed to terminally ill people only.

It's despite outcries from disability groups who say any Green vote in favour is a breach of their trust.

But co-leader James Shaw is making it clear their backing is only under the condition it's amended because it doesn't meet their policy in its current form.

He says they're looking for changes to exclude people with a degenerative disease but not a terminal one.

ZB's chief political reporter Alex Mason says the bill also has New Zealand First's backing, if an amendment's added before the third reading for a binding referendum on euthanasia.



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