Staunch euthanasia and assisted suicide advocate, Maryan Street, has failed to make it back into Parliament after New Zealand’s general election on Saturday.
Street, a Labour candidate who has been an MP since 2005, had placed the End of Life Choice Bill into the Member’s Ballot in July 2012.
Late last year, Street came under pressure from her party to remove the Bill as it was deemed too controversial a subject to be debating in an election year.
Street withdrew the Bill from the Ballot, vowing to reintroduce it after the election. However, once again she failed to win the electorate seat of Nelson. Her position on Labour’s List should have seen her re-enter Parliament for another term, but their support has deteriorated to its lowest since 1922 and they did not gain enough seats for Street to be selected.
Considered by many to be filled with loopholes, the End of Life Choice Bill, if passed, would have legalized physician assisted suicide for those who were suffering from an “irreversible physical or mental medical condition” who were experiencing “unbearable” pain.
Doctors who object to euthanasia and assisted suicide would have been obliged to refer patients to other practitioners who could carry out their wishes.
Most concerning to those against the Bill was the clause granting immunity from civil and criminal liability for any person acting in good faith who failed through act or omission to follow the law.
There are still 300,000 special votes to be counted which could potentially change the situation. However, it is unlikely that Labour will gain another seat, bringing Street back into Parliament.
The possibility that another MP will take up the cause cannot be ruled out either.