It's a decision that all of us hope and pray that we'll never be in the position to have to make. But as things stand at the moment, it's a decision that you're not allowed to make, and if anyone gives you a helping hand to make it, then chances are they'd be charged with a very serious offence.

The right to die, assisted suicide, euthanasia, whatever description you want to give it, it's not pleasant and it's not something that most of us will ever have to think about.

But for the unfortunate few, it's very real, it's distressing and it's putting them in a position that they'd never contemplated nor would ever wish for.

Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales, a young professional in the prime of her life, was confronted by the ugly reality a couple of years ago of an inoperable brain tumour and when the inevitable time came, she wanted to be able to die with dignity. So she took her case to the High Court and as her situation deteriorated the Judge decided it was Parliament and not her who should decide whether she was given that right.


Parliament, through Act's David Seymour, will consider the issue, possibly as soon as tonight. Like any conscience issue it brings out the worst in people with silly comments from the likes of Maggie Barry, who said it's a licence to kill, and with her left footer boss Bill English being a little more temperate saying he'll oppose it strongly because it doesn't have enough protection for the vulnerable.

They're the people, who opponents say, will find it hard to distinguish between the right to die and a duty to die, if they feel the pressure from their families. But in Seymour's bill you have to be terminally ill and be in an advanced state of decline, just like Lecretia Seales was.

There have been so many arguments for and against with those opposed saying involving the state in assisted dying involves many who hold deep ethical objections. MPs will have to vote for funding for a practice they may vehemently oppose and those funds will come from taxpayers, who'll be paying for something they want no part in.

All those objections could apply to many issues, most certainly to abortion which is legal, and to any number of welfare issues which are vehemently opposed by some but nevertheless have to be paid for because the majority of MPs voted for them.

Holland is held up as the model on this issue where doctors are required by law to report every assisted death to the local prosecutor and where the patient's death request must be enduring, carefully considered and asked for on more than one occasion.

When it comes to the law in this country, when all is said, and hopefully done before too long, it surely comes down to one word: Choice.