There is a very strong case that existing New Zealand law does not preclude a doctor providing a mentally competent, terminally ill patient with the means to achieve a peaceful death, according to a University of Otago law professor and a US lawyer well known for advocacy for such patients.
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International Disability Rights
On March 20, 2012, civil rights advocates including the DRLC submitted a Petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The Petition was filed on behalf of California inmates who are placed in isolated segregation for an "indefinite" period or for many years solely based upon a "validation" that they are gang members or are associates of a gang. The Petition alleges that penalizing them in this fashion (i.e., with indefinite or determinate terms of many years solely for gang membership or association without the prisoner having engaged in any illegal acts or acts in violation of prison rules, or even having planned to do so) constitutes cruel and degrading treatment in violation of California's obligations under international law, as such isolation has adverse effects on their mental and physical health.