Focus on Suicide In Euthanasia Review Welcomed

By August 27, 2015 Media Releases

Media Release 27 August 2015
Family First NZ is welcoming the broad inquiry into voluntary euthanasia to be carried out by Parliament’s Health Committee.

“It makes absolute sense to us to take a broad approach and to place euthanasia within the wider debate about the premature ending of one’s life. There has always been a concern about conflicting messages being sent regarding euthanasia and suicide. Euthanasia will send a dangerous message to society about suicide and the value of life. There are mixed messages when society wants to approve a terminally-ill person taking their life but also take a zero tolerance approach to other suicides,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The arguments put forward for allowing assisted death can also be reasons for any suicide. If choice and autonomy is important, why isn’t the choice and autonomy of those without a terminal illness or who are just ‘sick of it all’?”

“Allowing euthanasia could potentially institutionalise suicide as a method of coping with personal problems. The risk of ‘suicide contagion’ associated with a media campaign around promoting euthanasia is also a real concern,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“To allow assisted suicide would place large numbers of vulnerable people at risk – in particular those who are depressed, elderly, sick, disabled, those experiencing chronic illness, limited access to good medical care, and those who feel themselves to be under emotional or financial pressure to request an early death because they don’t want to be a burden. This is not ‘autonomy’ or ‘choice’ or ‘dignified’.”

“We must promote living with dignity, not so-called killing with dignity.”