Dying lawyer Lecretia Seales has final day at work ahead of death choice case
The terminally ill Wellington lawyer Lecretia Seales has had her last day in the job she was passionate about, as a senior legal and policy adviser at the Law Commission.
She has been on leave for about two months but has resigned due to ill-health. Wednesday was her last day, according to a blog, Lecretia's Choice, maintained by her husband Matt.
The end of more than seven years at the commission was marked by colleagues, including commission president Sir Grant Hammond, meeting at her home to discuss a project she was working on.
The blog says Seales, 42, who has an untreatable brain tumour, is sleeping "a fair bit".
But when awake she is as fiery as ever, poring over documents for her case starting in the High Court at Wellington on Monday. She is asking a judge to clarify the law around having a doctor help her to die if her suffering is enduring and intolerable.
"We're focused on keeping Lecretia in the best possible health for next week's hearing. We are eager for it to start," the blog said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Justice David Collins held a conference with lawyers involved in the case.
The case is due to take about three days and the judge said he would start working on his decision immediately, not stopping for the Queen's Birthday holiday on June 1.
Seales' general practitioner, whose name is suppressed along with the names of two specialists whose written evidence is to go before the court, wants to know if she would face criminal charges if she did what Seales wants.
Seales has also asked for a ruling that the law was inconsistent with her rights to life and not to be subject to cruel treatment. Seales says she will probably live longer if she has the option of having a doctor's help to die, instead of taking her own life while she is still able to do so unaided. She says palliative care might be ineffective.