David Seymour

I’ve campaigned for end-of-life choice for four years. Now, the vote is in your hands.

People like to say that you should judge a country by how it treats its most vulnerable member. I want to live in a country where the answer to that question is ‘compassionately.’ One of the most vulnerable groups of people are those who get ill and suffer badly at the end of their life.

This takes nothing away from palliative care. It has made amazing advances, particularly in the past two decades. But, some people still suffer and deserve more choice. In countries where Assisted Dying is legal, it is not seen as competing with palliative care but complimentary to it.

The simple question is whether our society says to those people ‘you must suffer on, the laws demand it,’ or do we say ‘It is your life. How and when you go is therefore your choice.’ I know which New Zealand I want to live in.

Some say the choice is impossible, that choice for some means compulsion for others. I have participated in this debate, literally from Kerikeri to Gore, for the last five years. After listening to every conceivable argument, it’s become clear the choice is possible. The Supreme Court of Canada, our own Attorney General, and decades of data from overseas show a law like this can give choice to those who want it, while leaving those who do not want it well alone.

I used my Parliamentary privilege to campaign for this bill over four years in Wellington. It experienced one of the most intensive parliamentary processes of any bill in living memory. Now, the choice is with you. Please vote for those terminally ill New Zealanders who suffer, so they can make their own choice about their own life.