New Zealand to hold euthanasia referendum

New Zealand will hold a referendum next year on euthanasia. If it passes, the country will permit euthanasia when a patient is deemed to be terminally ill with less than six months left to live.

The New Zealand parliament voted by 69-51 in favour of the legislation which will be put to the people on the same day as a scheduled General Election next year.

The referendum is not required, strictly speaking and there will no nothing in the future to stop parliament passing more liberal legislation. The original form of the law would have permitted euthanasia/assisted suicide for ‘severe’ and ‘incurable’ conditions.