New Zealand MP Wants to Bring Back Bill to Legalize Euthanasia There

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 4, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Zealand MP Wants to Bring Back Bill to Legalize Euthanasia There Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 4,

Wellington, New Zealand ( — A member of the New Zealand parliament wants to renew an effort that failed previously before to legalize euthanasia there. MP Peter Brown, a leading legislator, says he thinks the nation’s lawmakers will be more open to the question of allowing it now than they were the last time.

First Deputy leader Peter Brown said he would help lead the charge after parliament rejected the "Death with Dignity Bill" narrowly in 2003.

He says he has made some modifications in the measure he hopes will get it more support and he hopes it will be put up for debate soon.

The euthanasia debate in New Zealand has been thrown back into the spotlight as a man is appearing in court for allegedly giving his terminally ill mother high doses or morphine that eventually killed her.

Australian euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke, who has lobbied hard to allow assisted suicides in New Zealand, says charging the man for his mother’s death is an example of why the practice should be legalized.

Following the defeat of the 2003 bill, New Zealand euthanasia advocate Lesley Martin was jailed for 15 months for killing her mother in a euthanasia bid.

Martin, who heads the pro-euthanasia group Dignity New Zealand, plans to write a book about her experiences which will reveal her reasons for going public about killing her mother.

Martin previously published a book called To Die Like A Dog where she claims she was fulfilling her mother’s wishes to be killed rather than live with a disease. That book led police to charge Martin with murder in the case.