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Kill the act, not the vulnerable - Risky Law

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A group of professionals have launched a series of provocative ads calling for New Zealanders to ‘Vote No’ in the upcoming End of Life Choice (EOLC) Act referendum, claiming the Act is risky and will have serious unintended consequences for our most vulnerable Kiwis.

The ‘Vote No to the End of Life Act Society’ says the poorly drafted Act, which will be voted on in New Zealand’s first ever binding referendum, will not provide real "choice" but will have serious unintended consequences for the most vulnerable in our society. They say the Act lacks safeguards necessary for both patients and medical professionals (thousands of whom are fiercely opposed to the Act).

The powerful advertising campaign from ‘Risky Law’ draws on several emotive scenarios entirely plausible under the Act and is supported by three testimonials from Lawyer Grant Illingworth QC, Geriatrician Doctor John Thwaites, and Rachel Major, daughter of a patient who lived much longer than doctors predicted.

Peter Thirkell, Chair of the ‘Vote No to the End of Life Act Society’ says, "The ads are harrowing and it doesn’t give us any pleasure to depict such a bleak scenario for our vulnerable elderly or young people, in particular. It’s not our intention to scaremonger, but to show what could happen under the current legislation. We are calling on our team of five million to Kill the Act, not the vulnerable.

"The fact the legislation includes terminally ill people within six months of death down to people as young as 18, that there is no requirement to notify any friends or family members, and no provision for a cooling-off period after euthanasia is requested - as is the case in Canada - is unacceptable. This is a bad law and opens the gates for coercion and wrongful deaths against the backdrop of our already dismal elder abuse statistics," says Thirkell.

Risky Law is appealing to all New Zealanders to get informed by reviewing the free resource page, posting questions for medical and legal professionals to respond to as part of their Facebook Live events series, or filling out their interactive quiz banners that will roll out as part of the advertising campaign.

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