New Zealanders Choose Euthanasia
The law, enabling doctors to end life a terminally ill person was approved by 65 per cent voters.
With an estimated 17 per cent of votes still to be counted, 65.2 per cent voted in support of the End of Life Choice Act, while 53.1 per cent voted against the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.
On Friday, there were released preliminary results.
The photos of mostly old campaigners for euthanasia and cannabis, raising a champagne glass and with, what was described, as the tears of joy, filled up the mainstream media.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed she voted "yes" on both the euthanasia and the cannabis referenda.
Act party leader Mr David Seymour thanked MPs for supporting the End of Life Choice Bill through Parliament. He said New Zealand would be, according to him, a kinder, more compassionate, more humane society. What a great day to be a Kiwi, he stated.
The referendum was a demand of the New Zealand First Party, which threatened to vote against the legislation if it wasn't put to the public - possibly condemning it to fail.
New Zealanders elect us, but they do not elect our consciences, New Zealand First MP Tracey Martin said.
The leading critic of both postulates Mr. Bob McCoskrie, who directs the Christian organisation Family First New Zealand, has warned before the referendum that once allowed euthanasia may not be that voluntary as proponents advertised it.
Some people will be euthanised on account of a disease they thought they had but did not. Others will request assisted suicide because of coercion either internally or from relatives, or concerns around costs of treatment, and others will be struggling because of a terminal disease prognosis and actually just need appropriate support, Mr. Corskrie warned.
The Anglican minister Dr. John Fox who has a painful neuromuscular condition called spastic hemiplegia said that the referendum showed unrepaired damage to the morals of New Zealand.
I am pretty gutted, Dr. Fox commented. Instead of improving palliative care and addressing any of the underlying issues we've opted to assist people to commit suicide, he said.
Dr. Fox said the referendum showed "a shameful misordering of priorities" and "changed New Zealand's moral and social fabric in a permanent way".
New Zealand are emphasising the voice of proponents of drug legalisation
On Friday, public debate was more focused on what the majority of media called the lost referendum on marijuana. It showed their partial position in the next debate in which results are confused with the causes. The proponents claim that the legalisation will eliminate the black market of drugs and will lead to a decrease in the usage of drugs. But in such debate, the long-term consequences for the brain health and overall condition of an individual are not discussed. The example of the legalisation of drugs in Switzerland or the Netherlands showed that the legalisation would not decrease criminality either the popularity of drugs.
But those issues are missing in the public debate in New Zealand, which have been focused on the release of a youth from prison (drug-dealers) and a supposed pleasure for future users.
Some politicians, including senior ones, spoke of legalising drugs as freedom and even a positive difference in people's lives.
Speaking in Auckland after the result, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick said it seemed to show a win for the "no" vote - though it was still possible that the result could flip.
Former prime minister Helen Clark, who supported a "yes" vote on cannabis, told, before the results were released, that legalising cannabis could make a positive difference in thousands of people's lives.
Justice Minister Andrew Little said voters had spoken and were "uncomfortable" with legalisation of cannabis. The drug law changes last year had led to a level of decriminalisation, he added. In the end, people weren't ready to take that step, Mr. Little commented.
On Friday Dr. McCoskrie told media the group was "pretty stoked" with the result on cannabis legalisation. But he cautioned to wait for the final results.
The final results, which include the special votes, will be released on November 6, next Friday.