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New Zealand the first country in the world to decide on euthanasia via referendum.

Voters will decide whether to legalize the practice of doctors killing sick patients. Voluntary euthanasia is already legal in Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, and several U.S. states. Non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia are illegal worldwide.


On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the referendum, which will be held September 19. On the same day, voters will decide whether to return Ardern to power. 

If the euthanasia referendum passes with more than 50 percent of the vote, the End of Life Choice Act of 2019 would go into effect exactly one year after the results are finalized. Currently, the aiding and abeting of suicide is illegal, according to New Zealand’s criminal code.

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