New Zealand has voted resoundingly in favour of legalising euthanasia, preliminary referendum results show.
With an estimated 17 per cent of votes still to be counted, 65.2 per cent voted in support of the End of Life Choice Act.
Parliament had already passed the End of Life Choice Act, but it wouldn’t come into force unless the majority of Kiwis were in favour of it.
New Zealanders were asked “Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?” and were given the option of answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question.
The results of the euthanasia referendum are binding and will see the act come into effect 12 months from the final results – on 6 November 2021 – allowing for safeguards and processes outlined in the Act to be established.
From next year, people who meet the criteria will have the option of legally asking for medical assistance to end their lives and assisted dying will be administered by the Ministry of Health.
The vote makes New Zealand the seventh country in the world to legalise assisted dying.
New Zealand votes to legalise euthanasia in referendum
Referendum results live: NZ votes yes on euthanasia, no on cannabis legalisation
(New Zealand Herald)