Supplementary Order Paper No 374

No 374

House of Representatives

Supplementary Order Paper

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

End of Life Choice Bill

Proposed amendment to SOP No 259

Hon Maggie Barry, in Committee, to move the following amendment:

Clause 25

Replace clause 25 (page 22) with:

25 Effect on contracts of death under this Act

A person who dies as a result of assisted dying is, for the purposes of any life insurance contract, or any other contract, taken to have died as a result of the administration of medication as detailed in section 16, if that was the actual cause of the person’s death.

Explanatory note

This Supplementary Order Paper amends Supplementary Order Paper No 259 amending the End of Life Choice Bill by clarifying that no one is to be compelled to misreport or misrepresent the cause of a person’s death.

Compelling speech is particularly oppressive where the information required to be recorded is factually incorrect, as distinct from merely a matter of taste or preference.

Clause 25 appears to assume that, if this Bill becomes law, contracts for life insurance are going to be provided on the same basis as they are currently.

A related point is that it is unclear from the Bill whether insurers will be able to contract out of clause 25. It seems inevitable that insurance policies will take into account the possibility of insured persons ending their lives earlier than would otherwise have been the case.