Supplementary Order Paper No 300

No 300

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

End of Life Choice Bill

Proposed amendment

Simeon Brown, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 8

Replace clause 8(2) (page 6, lines 4 to 32) with:

(2)

The attending medical practitioner must—

(a)

give the person the following information:

(i)

an accurate prognosis for the terminal illness; and

(ii)

the irreversible nature of assisted dying; and

(iii)

the anticipated impacts of assisted dying on whānau; and

(b)

talk face to face with the person about their wish at intervals determined by the progress of their terminal illness; and

(c)

ensure that the person has exhausted all options for end-of-life care; and

(d)

require the person to talk about their wish with at least two others such as family, friends, and counsellors; and

(e)

verify that the person has talked about their wish with at least two other people other than the attending medical practitioners; and

(f)

certify beyond all reasonable doubt that the person expresses their wish free from undue influence or pressure from any other person by—

(i)

talking with other health practitioners who are in regular contact with the person; and

(ii)

talking with members of the person’s family; and

(iii)

talking to any other person that the health practitioner may determine as necessary to ensure the absence of coercion; and

(iv)

talking to any other person the health practitioner may determine as necessary to ensure the absence of abuse; and

(g)

complete the first part of the prescribed form requesting the option of assisted dying by recording the actions the attending medical practitioner took to comply with paragraphs (a) to (f).

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper amends clause 8 of the End of Life Choice Bill by increasing the specificity of the requirements related to the process that must be undertaken when a request is made for physician-assisted suicide. These amendments will provide further safeguards against this decision being taken without a full appreciation of the consequences, and against coercion or other untoward influences. Specifying requirements such as a face-to-face meeting occurring between practitioner and patient, stipulating that the full effects of the death are considered with relation to whānau, and ensuring that alternative options for end-of-life care means more comprehensive support and exploration of the consequences of physician-assisted suicide are provided.