This World Hospice Day, 50 Doctors support End of Life Choice and Hospice working together

In a statement released today, 50 Doctors who support End of Life Choice, including Dr Lance O’Sullivan and Dame Margaret Sparrow, say the best end of life care will be achieved when Hospice and assisted dying work together.


They say “This World Hospice Day, we celebrate the extraordinary individuals providing Hospice and palliative care across New Zealand – without whom we wouldn’t have what has been rated the third best Hospice and palliative care worldwide. We join calls for more funding and resources for this precious part of our healthcare system.


“We also call for Hospice and assisted dying laws to work together to provide seamless and dignified end of life care.


“A small but vocal minority claim all Doctors oppose the End of Life Choice Act. That is not true.


“We represent the enormous number of healthcare professionals who support assisted dying, including the majority of nurses and a substantial number of doctors including GPs and specialists in geriatrics, palliative care and ethics. Hundreds of Doctors say they will support eligible people to access the End of Life Choice Act.


“We support End of Life Choice because even the best Hospice system in the world cannot alleviate all suffering. A recent report shows 2-5% of people suffer unbearably as they die. That’s around 250 Kiwis every year.


“New Zealand now has the opportunity to change this by voting YES for the End of Life Choice Act.


“This Act will provide an additional option for terminally ill adults to choose assisted dying if their suffering becomes unbearable; to die in a planned, peaceful way, surrounded by loved ones, conscious and able to say goodbye.


“Overseas, Hospice and assisted dying laws work together and complement one another. What’s more, countries with assisted dying laws see increased funding for palliative care. We look forward to collaborating with our Hospice colleagues here in New Zealand to achieve the same, so we can continue to provide exemplary care to our patients and remain a global leader in end of life care.


Your YES vote in the End of Life Choice referendum will make sure our Hospices remain some of the most wonderful places to die in the world.”




Dr Libby Smales, Specialist Palliative Care Physician CNZM FAChPM, MBBS

Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Dame Margaret Sparrow, Sexual Health Physician (retired)

Dr Cindy Towns, Consultant Internal Medicine Physician and Geriatrician

Dr Stanley Koshy, GP

Dr Jack Havill ONZM, Intensive Care Medicine Specialist (retired)

Dr Miles Williams, Cardiologist

Dr Richard Luke, Cardiologist

Dr James Curtis, Respiratory Physician

Dr Nik Krawchenko, Medical Registrar

Dr Hamish Liggins, GP Registrar

Dr Malcolm Arnold, Gastroenterologist

Dr Mike Halstead, Medical Registrar

Dr Shannon McCarthy, Medical Registrar

Dr Alan Stanley, Neurologist

Dr Baneet Singh, Medical Registrar

Dr Kate Kerse, Medical Registrar

Dr Brad Sandleback, Emergency Medicine Consultant

Dr Grant Cave, Intensive Care Consultant

Dr Mariusz Wolbinski, Cardiologist

Dr Emma Jones Medical Registrar

Dr Ruud Horlings, Dermatologist             

Dr Alison Bennett, GP

Dr Christine Maslowski, Retired GP

Dr Jim Stewart, Cardiologist

Dr Peter Ruygrok, Cardiologist

Dr Rachael Leigh,  General Physician

Dr Frank Kueppers Urologist

Dr James Davidson, Pathologist (retired)

Dr John Musgrove, GP (retired)

Dr Rowan Stephens, GP (retired)

Dr David Robins, GP/Anaesthetist/Obstetrician (retired)

Dr Tanya Quin, GP

Dr John Bonning

Dr Gary Payinda, Emergency Medicine Specialist

Dr Carol Shand, GP (retired)

Dr Barry Suckling, GP (retired)


Dr Alison Knowles MBChB Dip Obs FRNZCGP


Dr E Jane MacDonald

Dr Peter Feltham, GP (retired)

Dr John Duncan FRNZCGP

Dr Stuart Tiller FRNZCGP. MPH.

Dr Erich Kusel FRNZCGP GP

Dr James Aubrey, GP (retired)

Dr David Levy, Consultant Emergency Medicine

Dr Rochelle Wilson, GP (retired)

Dr David Davidson, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialist

Dr Noel Nicholson, Otolaryngologist


Yes for Compassion aims to ensure New Zealanders can cast informed yes votes in the End of Life Choice referendum on 17 October.





Dr Libby Smales, a palliative care physician with more than two decades experience as former Director of Cranford Hospice and Yes for Compassion spokesperson, can provide comment.


Media contact: Jo de Joux – 021 245 6924