Helpful or harmful: euthanasia debate comes to Manawatū

By August 25, 2018 Recent News

Stuff 23 August 2018
Family First Comment: The Select Committee are hearing the message loud and clear – reject assisted suicide. Reject Seymour’s bill.

A Manawatū union organiser says proposed euthanasia legislation could force older, sick or mentally ill people into feeling pressured to end their lives.

Dion Martin, of Palmerston North, says the controversial End of Life Choice Bill, with its provision for “assisted dying”, is really about “dressed-up suicide”.

Martin has worked as a union organiser for 29 years and has witnessed vulnerable workers being pressured into doing things they didn’t want to.

“I think it can create a scenario where vulnerable people such as the elderly, the sick, those living with disability or mental health issues, yes, even young people who are currently having suicidal thoughts and feeling the anxiety of being isolated and have become very depressed – I believe they could feel coerced, under duress, feel under pressure to end their lives far, far too soon.”

He said the bill “opens a Pandora’s box”.

“If you normalise the so-called assisted dying, you create a whole lot of situations where it’s OK to take a life.”

Martin had experience with his elderly mother who thought she was a burden on the family and felt she was better off dead.

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