INDEPENDENT NEWS

The End of Life Choice bill a Poison Chalice

Published: Fri 1 Dec 2017 09:41 PM
The End of Life Choice bill a Poison Chalice
Media Release Friday 1st Dec 2017
David Seymour MP leader of ACT, is endeavouring to entice Members of Parliament to support his highly contentious End of Life Choice bill that may have its first reading before Christmas. Last week, the Victorian Lower House passed the controversial and bitterly opposed Voluntary Assisted Dying bill. It is disingenuous for him to now claim, “I think it will give courage to New Zealand politicians who will be hearing from that noisy minority that actually you can do the right thing, you can back the majority of the population who favour choice, you can cut through the misinformation you tend to receive…”
And who exactly are the noisy minority that are opposed to David Seymour’s enlightened bill that would permit doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide and what is this misinformation that is being inflicted on our community?
Leading the ‘noisy minority opposition’ is the World Medical Association representing the medical profession in 102 countries that upholds the 2000 year old Hippocratic tradition that reads; “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan”.
Next we have the New Zealand Medical Association representing more than 5,500 medical practitioners who state unequivocally that it is unethical for doctors to kill their patients, but that they wholeheartedly support patient autonomy which includes the patient’s right to refuse treatment.
Then we have Hospice New Zealand who believe that every patient has a right to choose to truly die with dignity and to receive world class palliative care with compassion and effective pain control in their 32 hospices.
As for mis-information. The only mis-information occurring here is that pushed by Seymour and his assertion that euthanasia is somehow a benevolent act and that it can be controlled by safeguards. These assertions are patently false.
Right to Life believes that It would be a foolish and unwise for Parliament to not listen to our dedicated health professionals who passionately desire to care for us and not kill us. We urge our politicians to recognise the deadly threat the seductive language used by the advocates of the culture of death are peddling. Such language seeks to make lies acceptable and murder respectable. Make no mistake this bill is a real threat to the lives of our most vulnerable; the aged, the disabled and the seriously ill.
Members of Parliament should remember that their first duty as legislators is to protect the lives of New Zealanders, especially our most vulnerable members. This noxious bill has no place in our laws and we respectfully appeal to our MP’s to follow the courageous example of Parliaments in 1995 and in 2002 when members voted to defeat previous euthanasia bills at their first readings.
This bill is a poison chalice. Those Members of Parliament who are tempted to support this bill should be aware that there are many in the community who would refuse to vote for a candidate for Parliament or a political party who would support this bill.
David Seymour calls for Members of Parliament to back the ‘majority’ and support this bill. Right to Life believes that the majority of New Zealanders are opposed to this bill. The report released earlier this year by the Parliamentary Health Select Committee as a result of the inquiry in NZ of the petition of the Hon Maryan Street revealed that there were 21,435 written submissions received by the Committee. An analysis done by the Committee revealed that 77 per cent of submissions were opposed to euthanasia. The committee did not recommend that the law be changed to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
The prohibition against the deliberate killing of another human being is the bedrock of the law and medicine, we change it at our peril.
Ken Orr
Spokesperson,
Right to Life

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