Stuff co.nz 17 June 2020
Family First Comment: Significant concern for groups like Hospice NZ…
“The judge said hospices and other organisations could refuse to provide assisted dying services. But there also had to be a way for health practitioners to meet their obligations if asked by someone in the care of the hospice or organisation. It was not for the court to suggest ways those two positions could work together, the judge said.
One of the questions was whether Crown funding for hospices could be declined if they were not offering assisted dying because of conscientious objection. The judge said questions about funding would have to await a case where the funding process was in issue.”
And Hospice will pay the cost! Lose lose.
A judge says it’s too early to clarify how conscientious objection rights for assisted dying might work in hospices.
Hospice New Zealand, an umbrella organisation for all hospice services, wanted answers about how conscientious objection would operate if the End of Life Choice Act was accepted in the referendum in September.
It hoped the answers would help inform debate on the referendum, and it wanted voters to be clear what they were being asked to decide.
Hospice NZ was opposed to euthanasia or assisted suicide and a cornerstone of its care was to neither hasten nor postpone death.
It took a case to the High Court in Wellington asking for declarations on the legal position but Justice Jill Mallon said in general the questions could not be decided until the issues arose against particular facts.
A referendum on whether to put into force the End of Life Choice Act is to be run alongside the general election, and if the vote was “yes” the act would take effect a year after the result was declared.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/121860950/assisted-dying-conscientious-objection-questions-too-early–court