Media Release 12 Aug 2016
Family First NZ is welcoming an analysis of submissions made to the Inquiry on assisted suicide showing a 3:1 opposition to any change in the law, and is also calling on ACT MP David Seymour to withdraw his grandstanding bill so that the important conversation around end-of-life care can happen.
“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,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“We’re calling on David Seymour to kill his pre-emptive strike on this issue, withdraw his private members bill, and support the Inquiry to its completion. The country needs to have a robust honest debate about assisted suicide without the emotion of a law change in the mix, and examine whether so-called ‘safeguards’ deserve that label, whether coercion is subtle but real, whether patients will ask themselves why they are not availing themselves of assisted suicide, and whether our already-excellent palliative care regime can be improved in any way.”
“There are mixed messages when society rightly wants to take a zero tolerance approach to suicide yet at the same time attempts to approve a person taking their life. The potential for abuse and flouting of procedural safeguards is a strong argument against assisted suicide. Overseas experience proves that the risk of abuse cannot be eliminated. The risk of ‘suicide contagion’ associated with a media campaign around promoting euthanasia is also a real concern,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“David Seymour should pull the plug on his private member’s bill and allow the conversation to happen.”