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August 2019

88 cats euthanised by Auckland Council since March as activists fork out thousands to desex strays

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NZ Herald 24 August 2019
Cat activists are desperately forking out tens of thousands of dollars to desex and microchip strays as the number of cats euthanised under Auckland’s contentious new pest management plan hits 88.

The culling of cats found without microchips in “ecologically sensitive areas” of the Auckland region was a controversial component of Auckland Council’s 2019 Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS), which officially took effect in March.

Animal activists had repeatedly objected during RPMS’ 12-month consultation period that unchipped domestic cats were at risk of being rounded up in the hundreds of “ecologically sensitive areas” scattered across the Auckland Region.

Whether justified or not, such fears have activists personally housing more than 10 cats at time and reportedly spending up to $100,000 of their own money on desexing and medical costs.

Despite figures on the number of cats culled in 2018 not being available, Auckland Council’s biosecurity principal advisor Dr Imogen Bassett says the 88 euthanised feral cat number is not actually a reflection of the new RPMS that is “not yet operative”.

“We don’t expect a huge change in the number of cats being euthanised under the new plan compared to the old one,” Dr Bassett told the Herald.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12260599&ref=twitter

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Disability Rights Commissioner calls for ‘clumsy’ euthanasia bill to be scrapped, started over

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TVNZ One News 21 August 2019
Family First Comment: “The safeguards in the bill, although there have been some attempts to improve them, still don’t go far enough in my view, particularly around the assessment of who is competent and secondly around coercion.”
Exactly.
Kill the bill.

The controversial End of Life Choice Bill will be debated by MPs for a second time today, but Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero is calling for it to be scrapped all together.

The first debate three weeks ago saw an amendment to the bill which would allow those with a terminal illness and less than six months to live to access assisted dying.

The committee of the house is expected to discuss the role of doctors and the issue of coercion today.

But Ms Tesoriero still expressed concerns, telling TVNZ1’s Breakfast today she thinks the bill should be scrapped and started over.

“I would far rather see that if New Zealanders want this kind of scheme, then start again, co-create this piece of legislation with the right people around the table, rather than this process which is clumsy, awkward, deeply complex and I think continues to pose a number of risks for New Zealanders – particularly disabled Kiwis.”

Ms Tesoriero said she wasn’t satisfied with the amendments to the bill, adding there was “no bright line test between disability and terminal illness”.

“The safeguards in the bill, although there have been some attempts to improve them, still don’t go far enough in my view, particularly around the assessment of who is competent and secondly around coercion.”

Ms Tesoriero said there was “a whole range of improvements” that could be made, but she would like to see doctors talk to people who aren’t in the family and aren’t in the dying person’s will to better safeguard the process.
READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/disability-rights-commissioner-calls-clumsy-euthanasia-bill-scrapped-started-over

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Hospices call for more protection in euthanasia law

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NZ Herald 16 August 2019
Family First Comment: “Organisations were also worried that without further protections, those who didn’t want to participate would be at risk of coming under pressure to provide euthanasia services or lose public contracts,”
#coercion

Hospices say they want more protections to ensure their facilities won’t be used for assisted dying if euthanasia legislation makes it through Parliament.

But the politician behind the bill, Act Leader David Seymour, says there’s no problem to be fixed.

The End of Life Choice Bill passed its second reading 70 votes to 50 in June and is now going through a series of debates about what changes are needed before it’s voted on for a final time.

The bill allows terminally ill adults with less than six months to live to request assisted dying and let’s doctors opt out of any part of the process.

National Party MP Michael Woodhouse, who opposes the legislation, has now proposed an amendment that would let hospices, aged-care facilities and faith-based providers to be able to say they didn’t want anyone to be able to provide assisted dying on their premises.

“There is no legal prohibition on the ability of a doctor practicing autonomously with a resident in a rest home to offer assisted dying services inside their facility,” he said.

Organisations were also worried that without further protections, those who didn’t want to participate would be at risk of coming under pressure to provide euthanasia services or lose public contracts,” he said.

Hospice New Zealand chair Richard Thurlow said assisted dying went against the character of the providers and their basic beliefs of neither hastening nor postponing death.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12258952&ref=twitter  (behind paywall)

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Woman confronts ‘Dr Death’ at Perth euthanasia forum

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9 News 13 August 2019
Family First Comment: Her father was in his 60s when he took his life two years ago, after seeking advice from Mr Nitschke’s Exit International group that advocates legalising voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. She said her father was suffering from depression, but he had no terminal illness.
“Apologise for what happened to my father,” she said. “The information you put out kills people who are not in a rational state of mind to make that decision… There are young people who have died, people with depression. It’s wrong, it’s totally irresponsible, he’s a doctor, it’s wrong.”

A pro-euthanasia forum in Perth has turned ugly after a young woman tried to direct questions to controversial former doctor Philip Nitschke.

Backers of the man dubbed Dr Death, converged on the woman and demanded she leave.

“There are young people who have died, people with depression,” she argued back. “It’s wrong, it’s totally irresponsible, he’s a doctor, it’s wrong.”

Known only as Candice, the woman then walked to the front of the forum and confronted Mr Nitschke up close.

“Apologise for what happened to my father,” she said. “The information you put out kills people who are not in a rational state of mind to make that decision.”

Candice then explained to the media that her father was in his 60s when he took his life two years ago, after seeking advice from Mr Nitschke’s Exit International group that advocates legalising voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide.

She said her father was suffering from depression, but he had no terminal illness.
READ MORE: https://www.9news.com.au/national/perth-news-woman-confronts-euthanasia-advocate-philip-nitschke-dr-death/0b6919cf-4f7d-4234-956b-86bc0c208097

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