People Votes About
People Votes About

End of Life Choice Bill — In Committee — Part 1 — Minimum age

31 July, 2019


This Supplementary Order Paper amends the minimum age of eligibility for assisted dying under the Act. The age of 25 is more appropriate as it reflects the age at which someone is considered an adult according to the United Nations. Those between the age of 15 and 24 are considered ‘youth’ according to the United Nations, with mental maturity and cognitive capacity that is considerably less than those of their older counterparts. Due to the importance and irrevocable nature of the choice to pursue physician assisted suicide, mental maturity is an indisputable pre-condition. This is consistent with the mental health wellbeing criteria that is also listed in this Bill, requiring that individuals be in a state of mind consistent with the capacity to make such a dramatic decision. Mental maturity should be considered part of this overall mental wellbeing criteria and elevated to 25 years of age. As it stands, clause (4)(1)(a) is inconsistent with clause (4)(f)(i) and (4)(f)(ii), as under 25 year olds, as a group, do not have adequate cognitive maturity.

The question was put that the amendment set out on Supplementary Order Paper 283 in the name of Simeon Brown to clause 4 be agreed to.

Mover of amendment

Photo of Simeon Brown
Simeon Brown
National Party, Pakuranga

Votes Not passed by a large majority

Amendment not agreed to.

Personal Vote

This was a personal vote (or conscience vote) which meant MPs could decide how to vote on their own, rather than having to follow the party position. Learn more on the official Parliament website.

48 Voted For

72 Voted Against

External References

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Image of Simeon Brown (resized, cropped) by The New Zealand National Party, used with permission.

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