Richard McLeod: Make our voices known against the euthanasia bill

By February 1, 2018 Recent News

Asia Pacific Report 31 January 2018
Family First Comment: Another excellent commentary – this time from a legal perspective.
Make a submission against euthanasia –

Two years ago, the Parliamentary Health Select Committee investigating public attitudes to euthanasia and assisted suicide in New Zealand received a total of 21,000 submissions, 16,000 (80 percent) of which were opposed to their introduction into New Zealand law.

Last December, however, our Parliament voted through ACT Party leader David Seymour’s End Of Life Choice Bill at its first reading, 76-44. Seymour’s Bill is now before another Select Committee, which has called for public submissions to be filed no later than February 20.

What is Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill?
The Bill seeks to legalise in New Zealand the killings by doctors of patients, if a patient requests it (euthanasia). It will also legalise doctors helping their patients to commit suicide (assisted suicide, or, as Seymour calls it, “assisted dying”).

Both of these acts have been crimes under New Zealand law for as long as we have been a country – the crimes of murder and of aiding and abetting a suicide.

If passed into law, the End of Life Choice Bill will allow any New Zealander who is diagnosed with a terminal illness likely to cause their death within 6 months, and who experiences “unbearable suffering” (self-defined by the person), to ask to be killed by a doctor or to be given medication enabling them to take their own life.

This “terminal illness” criterion is the one that we hear most about in the media, but it’s not the only criterion in the proposed law.
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