The bravery of Lecretia Seales has given MPs the confidence to address the right-to-die issue in Parliament, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says.

Mr Lees-Galloway will table a petition to Parliament later this month in the hope it will lead to a full inquiry by the select committee that considers it.

"A number of people have been working on this for awhile, but there is no doubt that Lecretia's bravery has created the public conversation that has given MPs the confidence they need to address this issue," Mr Lees-Galloway said.

"What is absolutely clear is that it is time for Parliament to consider this, it has been a live debate in the public for some time now, and there is a demand that Parliament address it.


"But I also think that we are getting an increasingly stronger view from the public that they are in favour of some change. And it would be best for Parliament to work together to determine what that change should look like."

Ms Seales, a 42-year-old Wellington lawyer, died this morning hours after the judgement in her landmark case was released to her family and lawyers.

It will be made public later today.

Ms Seales had terminal brain cancer and her health had deteriorated rapidly in the past week. She was moved into a hospital bed in her home at the weekend, and was with her family and friends when she passed away.

Although too sick or tired to always watch her case unfold in the High Court at Wellington, she was front and centre of the debate this week as her lawyers argued a doctor should help her die without criminal prosecution.

Although many people have spoken of Ms Seales setting a precedent, her lawyers were at pains to point out the case was specifically about her, not an attempt to legalise euthanasia.

MPs have previously attempted to address the issue.

A private member's bill by then Labour MP Maryan Street sat in the ballot box for 18 months before being withdrawn late in 2013 after a lack of support from Ms Street's colleagues.


The End of Life Choice Bill would have allowed certain New Zealand residents aged 18 or over to have assistance to die, such as those with a terminal disease or physical or mental condition that makes life unbearable.

Mr Lees-Galloway took over the bill when Ms Street lost her list seat in the last election, but was told to drop it last December by leader Andrew Little.

When a petition by the End of Life Choice Society closes on June 20, Mr Lees-Galloway will table it at the first opportunity in Parliament, and the petition will go to a select committee.

"Our view is that that should trigger a wide-ranging inquiry into the issues of end-of-life choice, so that Parliament can progress it with a bipartisan approach," Mr Lees-Galloway told the Herald.

Such an inquiry would need the agreement of at least National and Labour MPs to initiate, he said.

"You don't have the pressure of a vote on legislation hanging over also gives us an opportunity to not be bound by a particular piece of legislation."


Prime Minister John Key has previously said he supports voluntary euthanasia under limited circumstances, but believed Ms Street's bill went too far.

Former New Zealand First MP Peter Brown's "Death with Dignity" bill was narrowly defeated 60-58 in its first reading in 2003.