Hospice Southland says ‘no’ to End of Life Choice bill

By August 26, 2020 Recent News

Stuff co.nz 25 August 2020
Family First Comment: Great decision. 
“Wards is particularly concerned that the act required patients to specify the time, date, and place where they wish to die.
This wasn’t conducive to terminal illness which often had many variables. He is also opposed to the bill’s stipulation that patients can choose assisted dying independently, without input from their family.”

Assisted dying will not be carried out on Hospice Southland grounds or by its staff, no matter how Kiwis vote in the upcoming referendum.

Hospice leadership have made their opposition to the End of Life Choice Act clear in a position statement sent to Southland medical bodies, medical staff, and rest homes.

“Hospice Southland does not take any action to cause patients to die sooner than they would naturally,” the letter, signed by the organisation’s medical director Amanda Sommerfeldt and chief executive Peter Wards, said.

While they would never turn someone who supported or wanted assisted dying away, Sommerfeldt said: “It won’t be done here.”

This comes after a high court ruling on a case brought by Hospice New Zealand found that medical practitioners and institutions, like hospice, had the right to conscientious objection.

In other words: they will be allowed to refuse to carry out assisted dying if it goes against the organisation’s values.

Hospice Southland’s position was discussed with all staff members – from clinical staff, to those running the Hospice Southland shop – before being put to the board of trustees and made public, Wards said.

“You’ll never get 100 per cent agreement, but this was pretty close,” Sommerfeldt added.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/euthanasia-debate/122557454/hospice-southland-says-no-to-end-of-life-choice-bill

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