By Ann David, Acting President, End-of-Life Choice Society NZ
As of 7 November 2021 assisted dying services are available in New Zealand.
Access is through your GP or specialist if they are willing to assist you, or through the Ministry of Health if they are not. If your own doctor/specialist declines to participate, get immediate help from the Ministry of Health at 0800 223 852 or AssistedDying@health.govt.nz
You must meet ALL of the eligibility criteria which are:
- be aged 18 years or over
- be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- be suffering from a terminal illness that is likely to end your life within 6 months
- be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability
- be experiencing unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that you consider tolerable
- be able to convince your doctors that you are acting voluntarily and without coercion
- be competent to make an informed decision about assisted dying at all stages of the process.
You are NOT eligible for assisted dying if you ONLY:
- suffer from any form of mental disorder or mental illness
- have a disability of any kind
- are of advanced age.
It is up to you to make the request as a third party cannot make the request for you and your doctor cannot recommend or suggest it to you.
The End-of-Life Choice Society NZ is the only voice advocating for patient access to assisted dying in New Zealand. If you or anyone you know might need this service, find out more from www.eolc.org.nz