Reverend questions euthanasia bill’s impact on te ao Māori

By January 16, 2018 Recent News

Radio NZ News 15 January 2018
Family First Comment: “Hospice New Zealand Māori advisory group chair Ria Earp said Māori were generally more open about death. “There is more of an ability and willingness to discuss death and dying and particularly how we care for our funeral services and how we care for grief.” Mrs Earp said Hospice New Zealand does not support the bill, and would like to see more focus on palliative care.”
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MPs are being questioned about how euthanasia fits in with their Māori values, as a bill legalising euthanasia makes its way through parliament.

ACT Party leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill was drawn from the ballot last year and it passed its first reading in December with strong backing from Māori MPs across all political parties.

Reverend Chris Huriwai questioned Māori MPs on Twitter about why they support the bill.

The Gisborne-based reverend said he does not back the bill because of personal beliefs, but he wanted to spark a wider discussion on euthanasia.

“Not necessarily discussions for or against euthanasia but just keeping those … Māori concerns in our minds as we continued to grapple with something as big as this.”

Mr Huriwai said euthanasia might affect traditional practices such as tangi or funerals.

“How does a kaikaranga respond to calling on the body of someone who elected for themselves to die?

“How does someone who’s doing whaikōrero mihi to the departed with that sort of ever-present reality in the background.”

He said there were traditional Māori concepts including whare mate – where those who were sick or dying lived outside of the main village, similar to a hospice.
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