Stopping Suicide After Seales
Suicide occupies an anomalous position in New Zealand law. Although it is not a crime to attempt suicide, the provision of assistance in such an attempt remains an offence. Furthermore, s 41 of the Crimes Act allows for the use of force to prevent another’s suicide. The case brought by Lecretia Seales in 2015 focused on the legal status of assisting suicide. During the course of those proceedings, however, attention turned to the defence under s 41. In this article, I consider the approach taken in Seales towards that provision. I will argue that the wide scope accorded to that defence by Collins J. is not the only manner in which that section could be interpreted, and argue in favour of an alternative, more restricted, interpretation.
Publisher: Auckland University of Technology
Keywords: Suicide; Euthanasia; Lecretia Seales; Criminal law
Research Type: Journal Article