Lecretia’s mum

Stuff reports:

Four years after the death of campaigner , a bill legalising assisted dying is up for its final parliamentary vote on Wednesday night. Lecretia’s mother Shirley Seales talks to Henry Cooke about the journey to get here.

Lecretia Seales was a Wellington lawyer who took the government to court over her wish to legally end her life on her own terms after a terminal brain tumour diagnosis.
She died in 2015, a day after a High Court judge ruled against her.
In his ruling, Justice Collins acknowledged that the current law made her suffer and “does not accommodate her right to dignity and personal autonomy” – but he said it was up to Parliament to fix this, not the courts.
Act MP David Seymour decided to do something, putting forward the End of Life Choice Bill into the member’s ballot.

And the third reading will start a 4 pm today and should finish around 8.30 pm.

She understands an instinctual worry about the consequences of legally assisted dying. Before Lecretia became ill, Shirley might well have been against euthanasia.
“I probably would have erred on the side of the people that say, ‘Life is precious. You can’t make these decisions’ and that sort of thing.”
But she says nobody who has watched a loved one go through a bad death retains such a view.
“Yes, some people have beautiful, peaceful deaths. Lecretia’s certainly wasn’t.”
“I lived with Lecretia and Matt [her husband, Matt Vickers] for some months looking after Creesh. My husband joined in the last few weeks, and her brother and sister were staying close by. The night that Creesh was dying, we didn’t even tell them because we didn’t want them to watch what was happening, it was awful.”
“I didn’t want that to be their last memory of Creesh.”

This law will give people like Lecretia a choice, one they don’t currently have. I hope it passes tonight.

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