Act Party leader David Seymour says he may change euthanasia law which punishes reluctant doctors

By June 19, 2018 Recent News

NZ Herald 19 June 2018
Family First Comment: How generous. But the REAL question is – why do so many medical professionals want NOTHING to do with euthanasia / assisted suicide?

Act Party leader David Seymour says he may change his euthanasia bill to allow doctors to completely remove themselves from any role in assisted dying.

The End of Life Choice Bill, which is before Parliament, allows doctors to decline a patient’s request for assisted dying, but it requires them to refer the patient on to another doctor who is willing to participate in euthanasia.

A doctor who fails to do so would commit an offence punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 or three months’ jail.

This has upset advocacy groups, who say that it undermines a doctor’s ability to make a conscientious objection to euthanasia.

“By referring a patient, a medical practitioner may feel complicit in an act to which they are strongly ethically opposed,” said Royal NZ College of General Practitioners president Tim Malloy.

The penalties appeared to be a coercive way of getting doctors to be involved in assisted dying, he said.

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