What happens if a person is not eligible for the service, or if the person is being pressured, or if they change their mind.
- Related areas: Palliative care
The process will stop if the person is not eligible
If any of the assessments find that the person is not eligible for assisted dying, the process will stop at that point.
However, a person may become ineligible after the assessment process if their situation changes. For example, if the person loses competency to make an informed decision after being found eligible, the process will stop, and they will not be able to have an assisted death.
If the process stops at any stage, the attending medical practitioner (or attending nurse practitioner if the person has one) will explain the reasons to the person and their whānau.
The process will stop if the person is being pressured
Only the person can choose to access assisted dying. It must be their informed choice, and they must have made this choice without pressure from anyone else. Whānau, carers, welfare guardians or holders of an enduring power of attorney cannot request assisted dying on behalf of another person. A health professional cannot suggest it as an option.
If the person’s attending medical practitioner or attending nurse practitioner thinks at any time that the person is being pressured into choosing assisted dying, the process must stop and the attending medical practitioner or attending nurse practitioner should explain the reason to the person.
The process will stop if the person changes their mind
The person can change their mind about choosing assisted dying, and they can stop the process at any time up to when the medication is administered. The person’s attending medical practitioner or attending nurse practitioner must make sure the person understands that they can change their mind.
Before the medication is administered, the attending medical practitioner or attending nurse practitioner will ask the person if they want to receive the medication. The person can choose one of three options:
- take the medication at this time
- delay taking the medication to a later date (within six months of the date originally chosen)
- cancel their request for assisted dying.
- Get more information from our printable information sheets
- Read more about planning for an assisted death
Assisted dying is a sensitive topic and may be difficult for some people. If reading this information raises distressing feelings for you, there is support available.
You can call or text 1737 for free to speak to a trained counsellor at any time.