Glossary: assisted dying terms

Commonly used terms in the assisted dying service.



Assisted dying

The administration by an attending medical practitioner or an attending nurse practitioner of medication to a person to relieve the person’s suffering by hastening death; or the self-administration by the person of medication to relieve their suffering by hastening death

Attending medical practitioner (AMP)

The medical practitioner who provides end-to-end care throughout the assisted dying service, including carrying out the first eligibility assessment and preparing and administering the medication for assisted dying

Attending nurse practitioner (ANP)

The nurse practitioner who administers the medication for assisted dying (under the instruction of the attending medical practitioner)

Health practitioner

A health professional who is registered and holds a practising certificate in line with the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003

Independent medical practitioner (IMP)

The medical practitioner who provides the second eligibility assessment (the SCENZ Group provides the IMP – see below)

Medical practitioner

A doctor who is registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand and holds a practising certificate

Nurse practitioner 

A practitioner who has advanced education, clinical training and the demonstrated competence and legal authority to practise beyond the level of a registered nurse


The person who has requested assisted dying


A medical practitioner with a specialty in psychiatry, who may perform a competency assessment as part of the assisted dying process, if required (the SCENZ Group provides the psychiatrist – see below)

Request for assisted dying

The clear request that a person would like to start the assisted dying process, noting that they may have already had some conversations before making this request

Support and Consultation for End of Life in New Zealand Group (SCENZ Group)

The statutory body for the assisted dying service that is responsible for maintaining lists of practitioners who are willing to provide assisted dying services, as well as providing practical help in relation to assisted dying

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