Saturday, November 27

Designated experts to monitor assisted death

Three experts have been appointed to monitor assisted dying when legal in New Zealand starting next month.

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Health Minister Andrew Little. Stock Photo
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Health Minister Andrew Little said it was the final step in preparing the health system for the End of Life Choice Act to take effect.

The Law creates three statutory functions to supervise its operation and the government has appointed three people to one of them, the End-of-Life Review Committee.

He is a medical ethicist, a physician specializing in end-of-life care, and a healthcare professional.

“The committee will review reports on assisted deaths and report to the Registrar (assisted death) at the Ministry of Health and the Minister of Health,” Little said.

Funds have also been set aside, through the ministry, to ensure that assisted dying is free for those who meet strict eligibility criteria, he said.

The other body required by legislation, the New Zealand End of Life Consultation and Support group (SCENZ) was appointed in August.

“Their responsibilities include maintaining a roster of healthcare professionals who provide assisted dying services and helping to develop and monitor standards of care,” Little said.

The law received 65.1% support in a public referendum held in conjunction with last year’s general elections and is due to take effect on November 7.

Members of the first end-of-life review committee:

Medical ethic Dr. Dana WensleyAn attorney and Superior Court attorney, he has previously worked as a registered nurse, attorney, and principal investigator. Since 2015, she has been an attorney member of the National Ethics Advisory Committee and a community representative on the Hospital Advisory Committee of the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. She is currently the chair of the Regulatory Committee of the Tasmania District Council and the Accessibility for All Forum. He received his PhD in Law and Medical Ethics from King’s College London in 2006.

Brenda close, Director of Nursing at Ashburton Rural Health Services since 2018, is also the Maori Co-Chair of both the Nurses Executive New Zealand and the National Nurse Leaders Group. She has 31 years of experience managing and managing the sophisticated healthcare needs of people in hospitals and communities in Aotearoa and Australia, with a focus on indigenous health, clinical oversight, and corporate and clinical governance.

Dr. Jane Greville, a hospice consultant at Harbor Hospice in Auckland, previously worked as a medical officer at North Shore Hospice. He is the Executive Representative of the Aotearoa branch of the Australian and New Zealand Palliative Medicine Society, and previously served as a member of the Dove Hospice Board. He has over 30 years of experience working in healthcare, primarily in general practice, and has worked specifically in palliative care since 2013.

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