One of the world's leading lights on the rights of End of Life Choice will be in Napier tomorrow.

Professor Jan Bernheim MD from the University of Liege will be speaking at a public meeting as part of a national tour of the country where he talks about his role in medically assisted dying as part of palliative care.

Dr Bernheim's address is titled Dying Well in Belgium - Embracing Choice.

He is considered a world expert on the subject of end-of-life choice with experience in medically assisted dying as well as working with the law in Belgium and alongside doctors there.


The Belgian parliament legalised euthanasia in 2002.

"We are very fortunate to have him here," a spokesperson for the local End of Choice branch said, adding all were welcome to attend.

The meeting comes at a time when ACT leader David Seymour is also pursuing the issue, having prepared a private member's End of Life Choice Bill.

"The intention of the bill is to allow people with a grievous and irremediable medical condition to obtain medical assistance to die if they so choose," Mr Seymour has said.

In a University of Auckland research survey published in the New Zealand Medical Journal earlier this year the majority of those surveyed supported assisted dying for people with painful terminal conditions.

Two thirds of the nearly 16,000 surveyed were in favour.

Dr Bernheim has speaking engagements planned around the country until June 17.

The Napier meeting will be at 10am at Lecture Theatre 1 at the EIT in Taradale, with the local organisers asking for a koha or donation as entry.