Dominion Post 14 Sep 2012
Almost 63 per cent of New Zealanders support proposed law changes that would allow ill people to end their lives, a new poll shows.
Today’s results come a day after after Auckland man Evans Mott, 61, was discharged without conviction for assisting his wife to commit suicide.
Labour MP Maryan Street has drafted a member’s bill that would make it legal for people who were terminally ill or suffering from an irreversible disease, to take their own life or have someone help them to die.
The bill has to be drawn from the member’s ballot before it will be debated in Parliament and that could take some time.
A Horizon Research poll released today found 62.9 per cent of respondents supported the move, 12.3 per cent were opposed.
The poll involved 2969 adults who self-selected to participate online between July 5 and 20.
It has a margin of error of 1.8 per cent.
“Watching mom [sic] nurse dad to the end at our home was enough to make up my mind that at some point ending it faster is a kindness,” one respondent wrote.
Men were slightly more likely to be opposed (14.2 per cent) to the law change than women (12.2 per cent) while the level of support was reasonably even between the sexes at 62.6 and 63.1 per cent respectively.
There was also majority support amongst ethnicities with 65 per cent of Maori, Pakeha and Indian people supporting it, 61.5 per cent of Pacific Islanders and 55.3 per cent of Asian people.
Support was particularly high among respondents aged 45-54 (71.6 per cent ) and 55-64 (65.3 per cent).
The majority of people (66.9 per cent) also supported the introduction of End of Life Directives – legal documents that outline a person’s wish for medically assisted death should the issue arise