Media Release 8 June 2017
Family First NZ will immediately be launching a major campaign to oppose the ACT MP David Seymour’s Private Members Bill to legalise euthanasia.
“The country is currently having an extensive inquiry into the issue of ending one’s life in New Zealand. This needs to be a robust honest debate about assisted suicide without the emotion of a parliamentary law change in the mix, and should examine whether so-called ‘safeguards’ deserve that label, whether coercion is subtle but real, and whether patients will ask themselves why they are not availing themselves of assisted suicide,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“It is telling that ACT MP David Seymour is offering yet another attempt alongside Louisa Wall’s and Sir Geoffrey Palmers’ similar attempts to mitigate the real concerns around safeguards,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“This ACT MP bill raises massive concerns around issues of subjective definitions, risks to the elderly and vulnerable, and statements made around potential euthanasia for disabled persons.”
“One of the main reasons that politicians in NZ have rejected previous attempts to decriminalise euthanasia is that they realised that the safeguards, while sounding good, would not guarantee the protection required for vulnerable people including the disabled, elderly, depressed or anxious, and those who feel themselves to be a burden or are under financial pressure,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“The international evidence backs up these concerns, and explains why so few countries have made any changes to the law around this issue. We simply need to ensure a palliative care regime in NZ that is fully funded and world class. That’s where the politicians’ focus should be.”
In 2017 alone, assisted suicide bills have been stopped or defeated in Maine, Tasmania, Hawaii, Utah, New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Maryland while in several other states, assisted suicide bills were introduced but lacked support to even be debated.
“The politicians need to immediately and quickly pull the plug on this flawed and dangerous bill.”