The New Zealand lawyer who fought a ‘right to die’ case in the New Zealand courts has died today.
Lecretia Seales took Court action to secure the right to choose how to die with a High Court decision delivered to her privately yesterday and to be released by Justice Collins today.
She died at 12.30 am New Zealand time today.
The former public law lawyer took action following her diagnosis with a brain tumour in 2011.
Her health deteriorated over the next four years and in May 2015 her oncologist described her as having “no more than weeks, or a short number of months” to live. It turned out to be weeks.
Although not seeking publicity, Ms Seales took action for the ‘greater good’, she told Radio New Zealand.
“(But) the more I thought about the right to assisted dying, the more I believed in the cause and for the greater good I let my personal details become public,” she said.
“The fact that I am a lawyer, I have been involved in lots of law reform and I have a terminal illness kind of puts me in a prime position to be a leader on the subject.”
Ms Seales had decided by the age of 11 to be a lawyer, her own lawyer, Dr Andrew Butler, said during the court case, which she personally attended only twice due to her declining health.
Her battle was reminiscent of terminally-ill woman Brittany Maynard, who ended her own life at home in Portland, in Oregon in 2009.
The 29-year-old made plans to die on her own terms, in the process becoming the public face of the right-to-die movement.
Source: Radio NZ