Thursday, 11 August 2016


“Maryan Street and the Voluntary Euthanasia Society wanted to know New Zealanders’ views on legalising assisted suicide,” says Dr Jane Silloway Smith, Director of Every Life Research Unit, “and the people have spoken: at a ratio of about 3 to 1, they have told Parliament not to legalise assisted suicide.”

Dr Smith has been analysing submissions made to the Health Select Committee’s investigation into ending one’s life in New Zealand. She has conducted a random sampling of the 20,576 submissions made public by the Committee thus far. Her analysis has found that 78% of submitters are against legalising assisted suicide, while 22% are in favour of changing the law.

“Submitters to the Health Select Committee have overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to assisted suicide,” comments Dr Jane Silloway Smith. “The very clear ratio against a change in the current law alongside the high number of total submissions shows that there is a strong public political will opposed to assisted suicide.”

Dr Jane Silloway Smith is available to comment on the preliminary findings of her analysis. To arrange an interview, please contact Dr Smith at Every Life Research Unit on: 021 875 009, or email


Editor’s Note: Dr Smith has conducted her analysis using a technique of simple random sampling on the submissions as they became available on the Parliamentary website.

 As the Committee has reported a total of 21,435 submissions received, it is clear that not all have been uploaded to the Parliamentary website. Thus, Dr Smith’s analysis awaits the full release of all submissions before it will be complete and finalised.