New Zealand to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients
The majority of New Zealanders have voted in favor of a proposed law to legalize euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses, which means the controversial law may go into effect next year, CNN reports.
More than 65% of voters supported the proposed law, according to preliminary results of a referendum announced by the country's electoral commission Friday.
Lawmakers voted 69-51 to approve the End of Life Choice Act 2019 last year before sending the issue to a referendum.
More than 2.4 million people participated in the poll, which was conducted during New Zealand's general election on October 17. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won the election by a landslide, earning her second term and an unprecedented majority for her center-left Labour Party.
New Zealanders were also asked to vote on whether cannabis should be legalized and a little over half of those who voted were against its legalization, with 53.1% saying no.
Official results of the euthanasia vote will be published November 6, and the law will take effect one year later.
The law includes several stipulations that must be met to be eligible for "assisted dying."
First of all, the person must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18 with a terminal illness "likely to end the person's life within 6 months"; is in an "advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability"; and is experiencing "unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person considers tolerable."
The person would also need to be evaluated by multiple medical professionals, including one from a government-appointed medical practitioner.
CNN reports that doctors and nurses are not allowed to start the conversation about assisted dying, and health practitioners are not obligated to assist people who wish to die if they have a conscientious objection.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal in very few countries and jurisdictions around the world, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Canada.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Interview: George Bell of the Capital Area United Way discusses 225 Give...
Black Friday shopping kicks off across stores in south Louisiana
One child killed in Friday morning house fire on Nottingham Street, three...
Consumers prepare for Black Friday shopping differently this year
Christmas tree farms experience increase in business amid pandemic
Belaire making 1st playoff appearance in 17 years Friday
Southeastern women blow out Alcorn State on opening day of college basketball...
Can Taysom Hill continue his success for the Saints?; Fantasy Focus with...
Catholic freshman Daniel Beale has been thrown into super stardom thanks to...
Can Jameis Winston lead this Saints offense?; Fantasy Focus Week 11 with...