World News – CA – New Zealand votes to legalize euthanasia in referendum


The results are due to be promulgated by the new Labor government by October 2021, but the second referendum on the legalization of cannabis does not find support

New Zealanders voted to legalize euthanasia for people with terminal illness, in a landslide victory for campaigners who say anyone with extreme pain should have a choice of how and when to end your life

The decision to legalize euthanasia appeared as a referendum question on the October 17 general election ballot, alongside a second referendum question on whether to legalize cannabis – which failed , according to preliminary results

The results of the referendum on euthanasia are binding and will see the law enter into force 12 months after the final results – November 6, 2021 Assisted dying will be administered by the Ministry of Health

Preliminary results announced by the electoral commission on Friday saw 652% of eligible voters ticked “yes” to the legalization of euthanasia, with 338% checking “no”

Only 461% of New Zealanders voted to legalize cannabis, while 531% voted no, meaning the legislation would not go to parliament

The referendum results do not include nearly half a million special votes, which means the final results will not be confirmed until November 6

This left cannabis supporters hoping that special votes might tip the result, but they should be overwhelming yes – a result seen as slim

For years, support for euthanasia has hovered around the 60-70% mark in the polls, with broad support across the political spectrum from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to head of the ‘opposition Judith Collins

The vote makes New Zealand the seventh country in the world to legalize assisted dying, and it was a ‘day to remember’ for the country, said activist Mary Panko

« It is now clear what we have known for decades that Kiwis want, and always wanted, the right to die on their own terms, » ​​Panko said

« Someday New Zealanders will shake their heads in amazement that the basic human right to say ‘no’ to intolerable suffering should never have been debated in this country … now, because of the passage of this law , our lives as well as our dead will be infinitely better « 

The referendum follows the passage of the end-of-life choice law in parliament in 2019 The law would allow people with terminal illness to ask for an end to their lives Although it has was adopted, it was only to be put into effect if more than 50% of voters ticked “yes” on the referendum ballot – which the preliminary results indicated

The law sets out the criteria for who can apply to end their life, including being 18 years of age or older, being a New Zealand citizen, suffering from a terminal illness that will end their life within six months, « have a continuing decline in physical capacity », « endure excruciating pain that cannot be alleviated » and are able to make an « informed decision » about their death

People with mental illness or declining would not be eligible, nor would those who apply solely because of « advanced age » or disability. Two doctors – one independent – would have to approve the decision, with a psychiatrist called if one of the doctors has any doubts

ACT MP David Seymour, who sponsored the bill, has been a tireless campaigner for euthanasia, saying New Zealand has consistently been « decades » behind the world’s most progressive countries

« I think it is time for New Zealand to become a more compassionate and tolerant society, » Seymour told The Guardian

« People continue to suffer in traumatic ways I don’t want to have to suffer to adhere to someone else’s morality They have their own bodies if they want a horrible death »

Although the results of the referendum on euthanasia are binding, the cannabis issue was not, meaning that regardless of the outcome, the government would still need to debate the issue and pass it through. politics by parliament

In the run-up to the October elections, polls showed a country divided; with support to legalize cannabis between 30 and 50%

Voters were asked to decide if they wanted to pass a bill that would legalize cannabis and regulate its use and sale This would include the production and sale of fresh and dried cannabis, including plants and seeds – for people over 20 The change would impose stricter restrictions than the rules on alcohol and tobacco sales

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly declined to make her stance on cannabis known, but has said she will reveal her vote once the official results are made public

Former Labor Prime Minister Helen Clark has said cannabis prohibition « does not work » and should be dropped, a position echoed by many prominent public health professionals

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in New Zealand, and the latest New Zealand health survey found that 15%, or 590,000 New Zealand adults, had used cannabis over the years. Last 12 months

Victoria, academic criminologist Fiona Hutton, has worked on harm reduction with cannabis users and said no means « New Zealand’s most vulnerable and marginalized people will continue to suffer »

« People voted no to protect the young and the mentally ill None of this will happen All the harms of decriminalization will continue unabated »

Maori make up 16% of New Zealand’s population and are disproportionately affected by New Zealand’s drug laws, facing three times as many arrests and prosecutions for possession of cannabis than non- Maori

Referendum, Cannabis, New Zealand referendum on cannabis, End of Life Choice Act 2019

News from around the world – CA – New Zealand votes to legalize euthanasia in ‘Referendum



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