Media Release 11 Sep 2017
Family First NZ is warning that there is a ‘social contagion’ aspect to suicide – assisted or non-assisted – and that we need more discussion about suicide prevention, not euthanasia. The warning is being reiterated after the disagreement between National’s Simon O’Connor and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern regarding suicide.
“You don’t discourage suicide by assisting suicide. Suicide is already a public health crisis,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Promotion of assisted suicide is a message that will be heard not just by those with a terminal illness but also by anyone tempted to think he or she can no longer cope with their suffering – whatever the nature of that suffering. This is the real risk to young and to vulnerable people and elderly people if NZ follows the path of promoting – and allowing – assisted suicide.”
Family First has also warned politicians that guidelines around the media reporting of suicides are being widely ignored in the reporting of recent instances of assisted suicide, with the subject’s decision to end his or her life frequently presented in the media as inspiring and even heroic, and the means of committing suicide being clearly spelt out.
“This discussion needs to move on to focus on what New Zealanders really need and want – a focus on providing the very best palliative care and support for vulnerable people, whether they are at the end of their life, or momentarily wishing they were at the end of their life,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“We can live without assisted suicide.”