Apart from the 19 September 2020 referendum on euthanasia, New Zealanders will also cast ballots to decide on if the Prime Minister will get a second term and the legal use of cannabis for recreational purposes.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a referendum for the country to decide on legalizing euthanasia for those who have less than six months to live.
Under the new legislation, doctors have the power to end life and will be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose of medication (poison) to patients suffering from a terminal illness if the patients request it.
The document stipulates that those suffering a “grievous and irremediable medical condition”, which is not necessarily fatal, will also legally be able to take their own lives.
Ardern said that the 19 September referendum would coincide with the country’s general election, which could land her a second term in office, and another referendum on whether the government should legalize cannabis for recreational use.
She underscored that she “will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long-term challenges facing New Zealand”.
Many meanwhile remain at odds over the use of euthanasia, which is categorised in different ways. Voluntary euthanasia (killing) is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and a number of US states.
Non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia are illegal worldwide and is seen as murder.