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Investigation into New Zealand euthanasia death

Assisted Suicide
21 July 2022
New Zealand flag

New Zealand's Health and Disability Commissioner has launched an investigation into a death under the country's new euthanasia law.

The first annual report on the New Zealand Assisted Dying Service has just been published after it began operating in November last year.

Data shows 400 people have applied for an assisted death up to June, and 143 people have died. Death was either by intravenous injection by a doctor or the patient ingesting drugs.

The report also confirms that there were four serious complaints about the system. Two were upheld, one was dismissed, and the other was referred to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

Further details about this complaint, including the location of the hospital, are not yet known. The government and commissioner's office declined to give further details.

Alarmingly, calls are already being made for the law to be extended so that Kiwi's who do not have terminal illness can access euthanasia, confirming the so-called 'slippery slope' argument.

David Seymour, who led the law change for legal euthanasia, said "one big failing" of the law was the decision to narrow its scope to exclude people with motor neurone disease.

CARE is campaigning against assisted suicide and euthanasia in the UK. A bill before Westminster is expected to fall, but plans in the Scottish parliament, and in Jersey are still live.

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