18 Jan 2016

Have your say on euthanasia, urges Lecretia's husband

10:56 am on 18 January 2016

The husband of Lecretia Seales, who took legal action for the right to a medically assisted death, is urging people not to waste the chance to have their views heard.

Lecretia Seales

Lecretia Seales died last year. Photo: FACEBOOK

Ms Seales, a Wellington lawyer, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011 and died in June last year.

Ms Seales took legal action for the right to die with dignity in a case that played out as the curtain fell on her life. She died hours after the High Court ruled it was a debate that needed to be had by Parliament and not the courts.

 Lecretia Seales' husband Matt Vickers after her death and the judge's decision

Matt Vickers (file) Photo: RNZ / Tom Furley

Parliament picked up on that challenge, with its health select committee launching an inquiry in response to a petition calling for a law change to permit medically assisted dying in the event of terminal illness or other specific circumstances.

Her husband Matt Vickers said it would be a tragedy if the chance to have a debate on the topic was wasted.

He appealed for people to make submissions to the committee inquiry into voluntary euthanasia.

"Lecretia didn't think about this issue until it actually affected her, and I think people have started to form an opinion.

"If the politicians hear from the public I think that they will be compelled to really look at it seriously and hopefully propose some sort of change to the law."

Mr Vickers said the committee, which is taking submissions until 1 February, had received hundreds so far, both for and against a law change.

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