Voters in New Zealand have approved a referendum to allow terminally ill people to end their lives under certain conditions.

The measure passed with 65 percent of the vote. It will allow terminally ill people who have been medically determined to have less than six months to live the option of ending their lives early if two doctors grant approval. The measure is expected to be in place within a year.

Polls taken prior to the Oct. 17 vote showed strong support for the measure, which was backed by both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of the Labour Party and Judith Collins, leader of the opposition National Party.

Several religious groups opposed the measure. The country’s Roman Catholic bishops issued a statement asserting that the law will “expose much larger numbers of people to the dangers of a premature death, people who are currently well-served by palliative care.”


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