Unlike overseas assisted dying laws the End of Life Choice Act doesn't require witnesses

The NZ End of Life Choice Act Requires No Witnesses – Unlike USA, Canada, Australia


 The law we’re voting on doesn’t mention “witnesses” once.

And the NZ Parliament left out this standard safeguard without debating it.

In the End of Life Choice Act the second doctor is “independent”, which means that the first doctor cannot choose the second doctor. But the second doctor is not an independent “witness”. This doctor doesn’t need to check for pressure at any point and would not be present when the person signs their request for a lethal dose. This doctor only needs to check whether the person meets the eligibility criteria.

The words, “lethal dose” are in the definitions in section 4 of the Act.



Oregon Health Authority. Oregon Revised Statute: Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, section 2.02.
Washington State Legislature. The Washington Death with Dignity Act. section RCW 70.245.030.
Vermont Department of Health. Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act (Act 39). section 5283 (a)(4).
California Legislative Information. End of Life Option Act. section 443.3(b)(3).
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Colorado End-of-Life Option Act. Section 25-48-104(2)(III).
District of Columbia. Death with Dignity Act of 2016. section 3(2)(b)(1).
Hawaii State Legislature. Our Care, Our Choice Act. Chapter 3.
New Jersey: State of New Jersey Department of Health. Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act. section C.26:16-5.
Maine Legislature. Maine Death with Dignity Act. section 2140(5).
Victoria Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017, section 34(2)(b).
Western Australia Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019, section 42(3)(b).
Government of Canada. An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying) (S.C. 2016, c.3). section 241.2(3)(c) and section 241.2(5).