Matt Vickers statement:
Mr Vickers said: “Over the past eighteen months there has been a lot of discussion on the End of Life Choice Bill, but we still have more to discuss. With several amendments suggested for the End of Life Choice Bill, including a possible referendum, it is important that the bill passes to the next stage so that we can actually see the final shape of the legislation. Then we can debate the efficacy of that wording and all the safeguards present in the final draft.”
“Too many people have worked too hard, and given too much, for the chance to have further debate taken away. On a conscience issue like this, the like of which crops up once in a generation, our politicians have a duty to give this bill the best chance they can. Whatever happens at the final stage later this year, at least we will know that the bill was given full consideration and that we have had a chance debate the issue with all the facts. But that won’t happen unless politicians vote yes tomorrow.”
Since December 2017, a further three US states (Hawaii, New Jersey, and Maine) have legislated for assisted dying laws, with nine state medical associations dropping opposition, while the assisted dying laws came into effect in Victoria, Australia just this week.
Vickers has been campaigning for a law change since his wife’s death in 2015, after she attempted to win a court ruling that she had the right to be assisted to die if she chose. Vickers is the author of the book Lecretia’s Choice.
For those who wish to listen to the debate, this is the likely schedule today:
- 2 pm Question Time
- 3 pm General Debate
- 4 pm Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill
- 6 pm dinner
- 7.30 pm KiwiSaver (Foster Parents Opting in for Children in their Care) Amendment Bill
- 8.20 pm End of Life Choice Bill
There are two hours and 20 minutes set down for the EOLC Bill so unless it starts by 7.40 pm (which would require shorter speeches on the earlier bills) it won’t get voted on tonight.
UPDATE: I am told a number of MPs will be doing shorter speeches on the earlier bills so the End of Life Choice Bill should start before 8.20 pm, maybe as early as 7.30 pm.