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Guidelines: Professional challenges – Assisted dying position statement

The NZNO draft assisted dying position statement has been developed in conjunction with our written and oral submission to the Health Select Committee in regard to the Marion Street Petition to investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable.

While Assisted Dying (AD) is not yet legal in Aotearoa New Zealand, given international trends, it is inevitable that some law will be passed in New Zealand in the future which legalises AD. As patient advocates, NZNO has chosen to take a principled approach to AD and advocate for individuals to have the option or choice of AD. It is extremely important that nurses are involved in the formation of that law to ensure better resourcing and support is available to care for people who are dying.

This position statement focuses on addressing the complexity of AD debate, nursing ethics of AD, professional accountability, and learnings from indigenous models of care. We want to hear from you, to ensure that we have included all the key principles to guide your nursing practice when questioned by patients and their families on issues of AD.

We welcome all member comments and feedback, no matter how small or large and please distribute widely to your member groups as appropriate. Please note this document is in draft format and should not be used in practice until a final version is published.

Please forward your feedback on the guideline by 16 January 2017 to

Enquiries to:
Leanne Manson
Policy Analyst Māori
Ph 04 494 6389 or 0800 28 3848

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