More than 65% of voters backed the proposed law, according to preliminary results of a referendum announced by the country’s electoral commission Friday.
New Zealanders were also asked to vote on whether cannabis should be legalized — 53.1% said no.
Official results of the euthanasia vote will be published November 6, and the law will take effect one year later.
The law contains several stipulations for those eligible to receive “assisted dying.”
The person must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18 with a terminal illness “likely to end the person’s life within 6 months”; is in an “advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability”; and is experiencing “unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that the person considers tolerable.”
They would have to be evaluated by multiple medical professionals, including one from a government-appointed medical practitioner.
Doctors and nurses are not allowed to start the conversation about assisted dying, and health practitioners are not obligated to assist people who wish to die if they have a conscientious objection.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia are only legal in a handful of countries and jurisdictions around the world, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Canada.