Monthly Archives

November 2015

Euthanasia law change 'dangerous'

By | Recent News

Bay of Plenty Times 23 November 2015
Two anti-euthanasia campaigners say a law change to allow assisted deaths would take New Zealand into irreversible “dangerous territory”.
More than a 100 people gathered at the Central Baptist Church yesterday to hear Dr John Kleinsman, director of NZ Catholic Bishops Bioethics Nathaniel Centre, and Waipuna Hospice chief executive Dr Richard Thurlow share their views on the subject.
Dr Kleinsman said saying yes to voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide would take New Zealand into dangerous territory, and was open to significant abuse. “The legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide is not merely a matter of individual choice and should not be based on high-profile individual tragic cases, such as the Lecretia Seales case which has been reported widely in the media,” he said.

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“It would be a dangerous and unnecessary path for New Zealand to go down.”
Dr Kleinsman said once the door had been opened it would be impossible to prevent abuses, no matter how many safeguards were written into a law change, and there were already examples in the Netherlands and Belgium which New Zealand needed to heed. Dr Thurlow said while Ms Seales’ case was “very sad and hard”, any move to legalise physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia would be “detrimental to society”.

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Emily was 24 and physically fit. She wanted euthanasia. She chose to live.

By | Recent News

Emily “Laura” is a healthy 24 year-old who was approved to die by euthanasia in Belgium. Emily has chosen to live.
Alex Schadenberg 12 November 2015
The Economist released a video on November 10 concerning Emily, a 24 year-old physically healthy woman who was approved for euthanasia for the reason of psychological suffering. The video is titled 24 & ready to die.

The 21 minute video (bottom of article) interviews Emily, her psychiatrist, her mother, and her friends. The video ends with Emily deciding not to go through with the lethal injection.

It seems that the Economist was producing a pro-euthanasia video to justify Emily’s death by euthanasia except that Emily changed her mind. The video concludes by trying to sell the viewers on the concept that Emily chooses not to die because she has a choice. In reality legal euthanasia has enabled death to be seen as a treatment for psychological pain, enabling her to die by lethal injection.

The greater question is how come Emily was approved for euthanasia? According to the law, a psychological reasons only when the person is experiencing unremitting suffering.

What we learned from the Letter of Hope to Laura is that a common response people was that they also lived with similar psychological pain. Psychological pain is a common human condition. Death is not the answer to psychological pain.

Media Blasted For Bias In Euthanasia Debate

By | Media Releases

Media Release 16 November 2015
Family First NZ is welcoming a ruling by the Broadcasting Standards Authority that TVNZ’s Seven Sharp breached broadcasting standards in its recent coverage of the euthanasia issue. Seven Sharp featured the story of a terminally ill woman who was a long-standing voluntary euthanasia campaigner.
“This is not the first time that the state broadcaster has been scolded for bias in its coverage of controversial social issues, but it is a timely reminder that the media must report the facts and broadcast both points of view rather than pushing their own ideology. Unfortunately we had similar issues during the recent same-sex marriage debate,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. 

The BSA decision said that coverage of controversial issues should “present significant points of view either in the same programme or in other programmes within the period of current interest” and that this particular programme was “heavily weighted in support of voluntary euthanasia”.   
The BSA also highlighted that they had received numerous balance complaints in recent years about programmes “which promulgated the pro-euthanasia position” (including examples from Campbell Live), and they had “rarely, if at all, been pointed to evidence of the other view being put forward”.  
“The public should be able to trust the media to give fair and balanced coverage of important social issues and to give an even playing field to the robust debating of differing views. The BSA is right to reprimand TVNZ, but it is also a timely reminder to other media outlets,” says Mr McCoskrie. 

“As we hold an important debate over assisted suicide, it is vital that NZ’ers are treated with respect and are allowed to make an informed decision based on all the facts and ideas rather than a viewpoint or ideology pushed by the media.” 

Previous examples:
A 2013 Broadcasting Standards Authority decision upheld a complaint from Pompallier Catholic College about a Close Up item based on a school newsletter objecting to the redefinition of marriage.    
In 2011, Broadcasting Standards Authority slammed TVNZ’s Sunday programme for misleading viewers on the success of abstinence programmes, and said ‘the broadcaster misinterpreted the research’. In a hard-hitting statement, the members said ‘We emphasise the importance of accuracy in news and current affairs programming and we consider that viewers were entitled to expect that Sunday, as a reputable current affairs programme, would impart reliable and accurate information’.”

German Parliament approves assisted suicide for ‘altruistic’ reasons

By | Recent News

LifeSiteNews 6 November 2015
After Germany passed a law Friday which permits assisted suicide for “altruistic” motives but not for “business” ones, at least one German “assisted suicide association” has signaled it will challenge the legislation.
The law allows someone to assist a suicide on an “individual basis out of altruistic motives,” but “criminalizes commercial euthanasia,” with assisting a suicide for “business” reasons an offence punishable by up to three years in prison, according to Reuters and AP reports.
Legislators voted 360-233 for the bill – the first assisted suicide legislation the German Parliament has ever passed – after considering four options. Two of these would have legalized it completely, and one banned it entirely, Reuters reports.
Supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the bill has drawn criticism from both sides of the issue, and former Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries predicted it will be appealed at the Constitutional Court.

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According to AP, Zypries said the distinction between “altruistic” and “business” motives “will open an era of great legal uncertainty.” She added, “When does a doctor behave in a business fashion? That is unclear.”
Alex Schadenberg, director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, says from what he’s seen of the legislation, it is almost identical to the Swiss law, which also allows assisted suicide for “basically altruistic reasons.”
But the law has led to the operation of Swiss “suicide clinics” run by organizations such as Dignitas, which attract an international clientele seeking to be euthanized.
Germany’s law may be an attempt to stop the operation of such clinics. “What they’re saying is if you break our rules, that’s a criminal act,” Schadenberg noted. “But they’ve in fact legalized assisted suicide per se.”