Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand, Inc

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.

                                                                                                                               -Napoleon Bonaparte   

'Wow. Front page!'Lecretia's Choice's photo.

Lectretia Seales is asking NZers for support


Lecretia's Choice

Lecretia Seales believes ill people enduring intolerable suffering with no hope of recovery should have the choice to request assistance to end their lives.

You Can Help Her

Email John Key

If you or a loved one were afflicted with a terminal illness, and were facing prolonged agony and suffering, with no hope of recovery, what decisions would you want to be able to make? What choices would you want to have?

Lecretia is pursuing compassion through the courts, but if she receives a favourable ruling it will be for her specific circumstances. But what about you and the ones you love? What about people that don’t have the resources to petition the courts? Shouldn’t our laws provide a way for our suffering, terminally ill citizens to take control of the manner in which they die, without requiring them to take legal action?

If you believe that terminally ill New Zealanders in pain or suffering should be able to choose how and when they end their lives, there are a number of things you can do to help:

  1. You can spread the word about dying with dignity
  2. You can tell politicians why it matters
  3. You can petition the government for legislative change

Spread the Word

We really appreciate your attention and interest. If you haven’t already, please like Lecretia’s Facebook page. But the most effective thing you can do is to share Lecretia’s Facebook page to your own timeline by clicking the Share link below, to share Lecretia’s story with your friends.  The more people that are aware of the issue, and the more informed their opinions, the more likely we are to have a quality national debate about end-of-life care and death with dignity.

Write to Party Leaders

Since Andrew Little buried Ian Lees-Galloway’s End of Life Choice Bill, no elected representatives have taken responsibility for reviewing right to die laws, and some parties are actively forbidding their MPs from doing so. One of the most powerful things you can do is to write to your favoured party leader to tell them how important this issue is to you, and why. If you have seen a family member suffer unnecessarily, or have concerns of your own about how you will experience end-of-life care, please tell your favoured party leader about it.  Let them know you care about their views and support for end-of-life choice. Let them know that your vote is contingent on them listening.

Email John Key

Write to John Key, Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party

Write to Andrew Little, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party

Write to Andrew Little, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party

Write to Metiria Turei, Co-Leader of the Green Party

Write to Metiria Turei, Co-Leader of the Green Party

Write to Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First

Write to Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First

Write to Te Ururoa Flavell, Leader of the Maori Party

Write to Te Ururoa Flavell, Leader of the Maori Party

Write to David Seymour, Leader of the ACT Party

Write to David Seymour, Leader of the ACT Party

Write to Peter Dunne, Leader of United Future

Write to Peter Dunne, Leader of United Future

Write to all party leaders

Write to all party leaders

Sign the Voluntary Euthanasia Society Petition

The Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand is pulling together a petition to present to government, asking our elected representatives to review public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation to allow medically assisted dying. Presently, a written, inked petition carries more weight in the House of Representatives than an online petition, which is why the we ask you to print and sign the linked document and send it to the VES, rather than sign an online petition to the same effect.

In order for your signature to be counted, you must be over 18, a resident or citizen of New Zealand, and you must supply your address.

Gathering signatures from friends and family to fill out one of the linked sheets to be sent to the address provided would be hugely appreciated. Thank you.

Download the petition document


In "News", you'll find YouTube links to one of Dr Rob
Jonquière's presentations.


We are planning to present a Petition to the House of Representatives.

NOTE - it is essential that the people who sign are over 18 years old, are NZ residents or citizens and that we have their address. Also please try to ensure that people don't sign multiple times.

A sample of people signing the petition will be verified so it is very important that the signatories are "valid" or the petition will be discredited.

Please follow this link to the petition document and download and print as many copies as you need.

Physician Assisted Dying (PAD)
Here are some recently published, useful and interesting statistics on what the New Zealand public think about Physician-assisted dying (PAD). This was published Dec 2014 by an Auckland University group in a distinguished Palliative Care Journal USA. As you will see, the results show the high value respondents place on patient autonomy with regards to End-of-Life Choices, and 82% want legalisation of PAD.

Guide to Dying- Your Way 

When thinking about dying, it’s easy to forget that you may be in a situation where you are unable to speak for yourself, unable to communicate what you do and don’t want – for example, after a head injury, stroke or heart attack – or you may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other health issues that could alter your quality of life.

An Advance Directive specifies what you do and don’t want, written down, witnessed and signed. You can purchase our Guide to complete your AD for healthcare here:   Purchase Advance Directives



Assisted  Dying - The Law in NZ

In New Zealand, the process of allowing a natural death by refusing medical treatment or intervention is quite legal. A clause in our Bill of Rights Act 1990 gives an unambiguous right to refuse medical treatment. Our Code of Health Consumers' Rights confirms that statutory right and also enshrines in law the use of an appropriate Advance Directive. It goes even further, in that Advance Directives do not necessarily have to be in writing. In emergencies an oral directive has an equal effect.

Assisting in a suicide or hastening a death is illegal. Aiding or abetting in any way is illegal and subject to heavy penalties. However, recent court cases reveal the compassion of New Zealand judges when they consider the charges, especially in cases in which it is obvious that the accused did not stand to benefit from the death. Where a conviction is brought in by a jury, the Courts seem to be inclined to take a lenient view when handing down sentences. 

We asked people how they feel about aid-in-dying laws.

And the Survey Says:

Most New Zealanders support aid-in-dying legislation.

Nearly 7 out of 10 New Zealanders support or strongly support an End-Of-Life Choice, for those who qualify and who request it. 

This holds true across all demographics, including political party, religion, age, gender, geographic location and income level.

Read the results of the Horizon Research Survey, focused on the End-Of-Life Choice Bill by clicking here.

Why we support End-of-Life choice
By Jack Havill, president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand

- To prevent suffering at the end of life, including pain that cannot be relieved by drugs. Some patients don’t want to be anaesthetised for their last days.
-  To maintain dignity in death. Terminally ill patients often lose control of their bodily functions and would prefer to die before becoming completely dependent on carers.
-  To retain personal control and be able to say when and how those with unbearable suffering die.
-  To allow terminally ill people who want to end their suffering to die in the company of friends and family and not have to commit suicide alone. While suicide is legal, a loved one who assists, or is even present at the time, risks prison.
- To allow sufferers to depart this life while still possessing their mental faculties. This would allow dignified goodbyes to friends and relatives and limit mutual distress.
- To eliminate compassionate law-breaking which risks prosecution.  It is recognised that some family members and doctors and nurses already assist patients begging for help to die because they cannot bear to see the suffering. A law change would legitimise their humane actions.
- Surveys show that nearly seven out of 10 New Zealanders across every section of society favour End-Of-Life Choice for those who qualify and request it.  Many are angry after watching and caring for family members who have su
ffered long drawn out deaths and want a good death for themselves.

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The Hon. Maryan Street, MP, Labour, sponsored the End-Of-Life Choice Bill.  It includes safeguards for aid-in-dying, such as:

Protection from prosecution for doctors and family members

Requires patients to submit 2 written requests for the medication. 

The participation of 2 doctors

Mandatory reporting

Such safeguards insure that the law is used as it is intended, and is accessible to those who qualify.

View the Bill here:

End-of-Life Choice Bill


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