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New Zealand Has Voted To Legalise Euthanasia

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New Zealand Has Voted To Legalise Euthanasia

New Zealand has voted to legalise euthanasia.

The country included a referendum on assisted death, as well as the recreational use of marijuana, on the ballot paper for the general election earlier this month.

It means New Zealand will be just the seventh in the world to legalise assisted dying, with 65.2 percent of voters already casting their 'yes' ballot.

There are still half a million postal votes that need to be counted.

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However, more than half of New Zealanders voted against legalising cannabis, according to the electoral commission.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The assisted dying law will come into place in November next year. It will mean that terminally ill patients will be given the right to arrange their own death, if they have less than six months left to live.

Some of the rules include needing the professional approval of two doctors, as well as needing to be over the age of 18.

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The final results of both of the referendums will be announced on 6 November.

Ardern's Labour Party won a landslide victory in the general election earlier this month, returning Ardern to the top job for a second time.

Speaking after her win, Ardern said: "Tonight, New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years.

"We will not take your support for granted.

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"And I can promise you, we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander.

Jacinda Ardern addressing supporters after winning the election earlier this month. Credit: PA
Jacinda Ardern addressing supporters after winning the election earlier this month. Credit: PA

"This has not been an ordinary election and it's not an ordinary time.

"It's been full of uncertainty and anxiety. And we set out to be an antidote to that.

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"As a nation, we needed a plan for recovery. And so that is what we created.

"We needed an ongoing health response to the global pandemic to keep people safe. So that is what we've done. And we needed a team focused absolutely and entirely on New Zealand and Labour absolutely is.

"Tonight's result has been strong and it is clear that Labour will lead the government for the next three years. And over the next three years, there is much work to do."

It is thought that Ardern's leadership through the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen New Zealand return to almost normality while other countries continue to struggle, was decisive in this election.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: New Zealand, Health

Amelia Ward
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