End of Life Choice Act implementation

From 7 November 2021 people who experience unbearable suffering from a terminal illness will be able to legally ask for medical assistance to end their lives.

Assisted dying will be legal in New Zealand from 7 November 2021, which is a year after the 2020 referendum on the End of Life Choice Act 2019 (the Act).

The introduction of assisted dying means that a person with a terminal illness who meets the eligibility criteria can request medication to relieve their suffering and end their life.

The Act sets out the legal framework and a high-level process for accessing assisted dying, including strict eligibility criteria and safeguards.

Assisted dying is not a replacement for palliative care or health care services more generally. It provides another option for people with a terminal illness in certain circumstances.

Assisted dying remains illegal until 7 November 2021.

The Ministry of Health will be responsible for the Act and has an implementation programme underway to implement the assisted dying service.

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