Learning more about assisted dying

Information, guidance, and training resources about assisted dying for health professionals are hosted on the Ministry’s LearnOnline training platform. 

All health professionals, regardless of their involvement in assisted dying, are encouraged to complete appropriate training to support their understanding of their legal obligations under the End of Life Choice Act 2019, and to enable them to fulfil their obligations under the act, should a person ask them about assisted dying.

Resources and training aim to support health professionals to respond respectfully and helpfully, including knowing where to direct a person who wishes to access this service.

E-learning modules 

There are three e-learning modules for health professionals available on LearnOnline. The modules can be completed individually or as a group.

These modules have relevance to practitioners who are choosing not to be involved in assisted dying, including for reasons of conscientious objection.

These modules can be completed individually or as a group learning tool, such as in a team meeting. 

To gain an understanding of the Act, including a practitioner’s rights and responsibilities it is recommended all health professionals complete the first module:

Learn about the process for accessing assisted dying, including the roles of different health practitioners with the care pathway e-learning module:

Practitioners can learn more about how to respond respectfully and appropriately if a person raises assisted dying with them, including best practice communication skills, by completing this e-learning module:

Recordings of the assisted dying implementation webinar series, and the assisted dying forum hosted in September 2021, are also available on LearnOnline. These cover a range of topics related to assisted dying and the implementation of the Act, including overseas experience, patient perspectives and whānau-centred end of life care.

Further information and resources

This factsheet provides more information about the overview module and the LearnOnline access instructions:

Please note: when health professionals create a LearnOnline account or use their existing account to complete or access these e-learning modules, we may collect and use the information provided for further workforce training and learning. If information about the training is published, it will be done anonymously. You have the right to ask for a copy of any personal information we hold about you related to this, and to ask for it to be corrected if you think it is wrong. Email: AssistedDying@health.govt.nz.

The assisted dying e-learning modules and webinars hosted in LearnOnline are for New Zealand health professionals only. If you are not a New Zealand health professional and you are interested in completing our training, you can email regarding access: AssistedDying@health.govt.nz.

Required training for medical and nurse practitioners providing assisted dying

There are five e-learning modules for medical and nurse practitioners who plan to provide assisted dying services. These cover the assessment process, preparations for an assisted death, assisted death and after-care, and practitioner safety and wellbeing, as well as a module to review learning.

Medical and nurse practitioners are required to complete the five e-learning modules to claim funding under the section 88 notice. These modules can also be access through LearnOnline.

Practitioners can request access to these modules by first creating a LearnOnline account, then emailing AssistedDying@health.govt.nz 

  • your name
  • profession
  • date of birth
  • email connected to your LearnOnline account, and
  • your Medical or Nursing Council number.

SCENZ list

If an applicant’s doctor does not provide assisted dying services, or they do not feel comfortable discussing this with them, applicants can contact the SCENZ Group via the Assisted Dying team at Te Whatu Ora for help to find a doctor who can assist them.  

Practitioners can register their interest for the SCENZ lists here.

Assisted dying is a sensitive topic and may be difficult for some people. Please talk to your employer if you need support, including access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).