The majority of New Zealand people support the law passed by their Congress for euthanasia or mercy killing of a seriously ill patient. Meanwhile, they are leaning toward banning the recreational use of marijuana.
According to a Reuters report, the New Zealand Electoral Commission said in a referendum that 65.2% of voters favored the euthanasia law passed.
New Zealand will be the seventh country to be allowed to end the suffering of a terminally ill patient.
The referendum was held in conjunction with their general election that brought Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern back to power.
While New Zealanders support euthanasia, 53.1% of voters rejected allowing or legalizing cannabis or marijuana use.
According to the Electoral Commission, there are still half a million votes that have not been counted, mostly from abroad. Although it will no longer affect the vote of euthanasia, it is possible to change the vote’s result on the recreational use of marijuana.
Under the euthanasia law, it is stated that it will be implemented in November 2021 as soon as people support it.
New Zealand supports euthanasia or mercy killing
The law states that the terminal patient who requested to have their suffering terminated will not be allowed to have a life span of more than six months.
Applicants for euthanasia must be 18 years of age or older, and two doctors must approve the request.
For Matt Vickers, who took on his late wife Lecretia Seales’ fight to legalize assisted dying, the result is “a victory for compassion and kindness.”
“I am grateful that terminally ill New Zealanders will have a say about the ends of their lives,” he told the BBC after the announcement.
Seales was a lawyer who launched a legal challenge for the right to end her life with medical assistance after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. However, her case was unsuccessful, and she died of her illness in 2015.
Her husband continued Seales’ campaign, and in 2016, his book, “Lecretia’s Choice: A Story of Love, Death and the Law,” was published.