Lecretia Seales is Herald’s NZers of the Year

The Herald writes:

She was brave and inspiring, sharing something as personal and private as her death for the advancement of a human right.

Instead of spending her last months quietly with family and friends, she spent them in a legal battle – fighting for the right to choose how she died.

For that courageous effort, the late Wellington lawyer is theHerald’s New Zealander of the Year. She died, aged 42, on June 5 from brain cancer. Her death came just days after learning she had been unsuccessful in her High Court bid for the legal right for a doctor to help her end her life. She wanted the right to not die a painful death.

As the result of the debate she prompted, Parliament began the first public inquiry into the issue of medically assisted dying.

Her husband, Matt Vickers, fights on – determined to ensure her personal sacrifice wasn’t for nothing.

Her family and friends say Lecretia was a private person. Mr Vickers said she would have found this accolade “over the top, because she was only doing what was right”.

But, as her friend Cate Honore Brett writes today, it is utterly fitting.

A good choice.  She used her death to try and give other New Zealanders a choice about what they would do in her circumstances. Even if you disagree with her on the issue, you should respect her willingness to try and have some good come from her situation.

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