In reply to supporters of the End of Life Choice Bill


In reply to supporters of the End of Life Choice Bill

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Guest writer

Dr Evans takes issue with the assertion that 35-50 per cent of New Zealand doctors support voluntary assisted dying

I agree that all doctors should read the End of Life Choice Bill. However, unlike Dr Havill et al, I do not believe it is inevitable that this bill will become law, writes GP Rosalie Evans

Dr Havill et al “cherry-picked” a few submissions to the health select committee which promoted a change in the law, as evidence for their viewpoint

1. Nicholls S. Palliative care experts warn NSW assisted dying bill 'unsafe'. Brisbane times. 15 Nov 2017. Available from:

2. Health Select Committee, Fifty-‐first Parliament. Report on Petition 2014/18 of Hon Maryan Street and 8,974 others. August 2017. Available from Wellington NZ:

3. Gillett, G. A report on Euthanasia for the NZMA. 2017. New Zealand Medical Association. Wellington. Available from:

4. Havill J, Smales L, Sparrow M, Johnson L, et al. Letter: Group of doctors urge colleagues to read the End of Life Choice Bill. NZ Doctor. 9 Feb 2018. Available from:

5. Havill J. Physician Assisted Dying – a survey of Waikato general practitioners. NZ Med J 2015;128(1409):70-71, 20 Feb 2015.

6. Richmond, D. Re: Physician-assisted dying—a survey of Waikato general practitioners NZ Med J 2015;128(1417):57-58, 3 Jul 2015.

7. Macleod, A D. Euthanasia and physician-assisted dying: editorial comment and reply to the Waikato GP survey findings by Dr Havill. NZ Med J 2015;128(1409):9-11, 20 Feb 2015.

8. Oliver Pam, Wilson M, Malpas Phillipa. New Zealand doctor’s and nurses’ views on legalising assisted dying in NZ. NZ Med J 2017;130(1456): 2 June 2017.

9. Malpas, P., M. Wilson, and P. Oliver. "Attitudes of New Zealand Doctors and Nurses Towards Legalising Assisted Dying - Report to New Zealand Medical and Nursing Associations." Auckland: The University of Auckland, May 2016.

10. New Zealand Nurses Organisation. Guidelines: Professional challenges – Assisted dying position statement [Draft]. Avilable from:

11. Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand Society Inc. Submission: ‘Health Select Committee: Petition of Hon Maryan Street and 8,974 others. Available from:

12.New Zealand Medical Association. End of life Choice Bill Submission to the Justice Select Committee. Feb 2018. Available from:

13. The Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine. (2015). Submission: Investigation into

Ending One's Life in New Zealand. Available from:

14. Clark, K., Connolly, A., Clapham, S. et al. (2016). Physical symptoms at the time of dying was diagnosed: a consecutive cohort study to describe the prevalence and intensity of problems experienced by imminently dying palliative care patients by diagnosis and place of care. J Pall Med, 19(12):1288-1295. doi:10.1089/jpm.2016.0219.