Claim Of ‘Religious’ Opposition To Euthanasia Debunked

Media Release 10 June 2017

Family First NZ says that a full analysis of submissions made to the Inquiry on assisted suicide by the Care Alliance shows 77% opposition to any change in the law, but also conclusively rebuts the claims made by ACT MP David Seymour and other supporters of assisted suicide that opposition to euthanasia is driven by ‘religious’ people only.

13,539 (82%) of the 16,411 submissions opposed to euthanasia contained no reference to religious arguments, while 1,535 used some, and just 1,337 relied mainly on religious arguments. Ironically, 208 submissions referred to religious reasoning in supporting euthanasia.

“David Seymour is quick to demand the removal of blasphemy laws, but perhaps his real focus should be on getting his own facts straight and examining the real reasons for widespread opposition to assisted suicide,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“This includes the disability sector, senior citizens, human rights advocates, and concerns that poor people who don’t have access to better healthcare could feel pressured to end their lives.”

“It is ironic that ex-MP Maryan street implied that a record 22,000 responses to her petition meant that it is time to legalise euthanasia. In fact, the message is clearly the exact opposite. New Zealanders want a conversation – but they are opposed to assisted suicide as the solution.”

“David Seymour should pull the plug on his private member’s bill so that the important conversation around end-of-life care can happen.”
ENDS