New Zealand votes to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients

New Zealand votes to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients

New Zealanders have voted in favor of legalizing euthanasia for people with a terminal illness, according to preliminary results of a referendum announced by the country’s electoral commission.

The person must be a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident over the age of 18 with a terminal illness “likely to end the person’s life within 6 months”; is in an “advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability”; and is experiencing “unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person considers tolerable.”

65.2% of voters backed the proposed law.

Official results of the euthanasia vote will be published on November 6, and the law will take effect one year later.

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