Communtity Law Manual | A death in the family | Euthanasia and assisted dying

Euthanasia and assisted dying

Overview

Assisted dying is currently a criminal offence

Crimes Act 1961, s 179

Helping a terminally ill person to end their life is currently a crime in New Zealand. It comes under the offence of “aiding and abetting suicide”, which makes it illegal to encourage or help someone to commit suicide. You can be jailed for up to 14 years for this if the other person does in fact end their life, or tries to.

If they don’t commit suicide or try to, it’s still a criminal offence, but the maximum penalty is a three-year jail term.

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