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Law in NZ

There is no direct mention of euthanasia or assisted suicide in New Zealand's laws. However, there are certain underlying principles of the law which clearly show that euthanasia is illegal in New Zealand.

The Crimes Act 1961

This legislation covers the taking of one's own life and bringing about the death of another. This could be by various means such as the withholding of the essentials of life, the giving of substances to hasten the death, and assisting of a suicide.

Section 151

Duty to provide the necessities of life. If a person is unable to care for themselves, or because of their mental or physical state are unable to put themselves under the care of another, then the caregiver is legally bound to provide the necessities of life. Failure to do so is an offence under the Act. "Passive" forms of euthanasia withhold the necessities of life and therefore a person dies from starvation and (more likely) from dehydration. This can take several weeks during which time the person is subjected to much suffering.

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