NewsRoom 11 September 2020
READ MORE: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/assisted-dyings-inequity-problem\
Emergency medicine resident medical officer Carmen Chan shares her concerns about euthanasia as an equity problem and explains how it broadens the gap in health outcomes for those already having trouble getting fair access to care
Family First notes these comments by Carmen Chan:
“If you had asked me as a medical student some years ago, I would have told you that I supported the proposed End of Life Choice Act. We put down our animals when they are suffering. Who’s to say that we can’t have the right to control how we end our own lives when we live with a terminal illness? But now as a practising clinician, I have many doubts about the proposed law on euthanasia. The conversation is much more complex and nuanced than what you’ll commonly read in the media – which is why I feel the need to speak out…
“..Euthanasia is an equity problem. It broadens the gap in health outcomes for those already having trouble getting fair access to care – for example, Māori and Pacific populations, rural communities, those impoverished and anyone already marginalised by the healthcare system. For me, it’s obvious who would be more likely to opt to end their lives early through euthanasia because they cannot access the medical care and support that they need. We need to think very carefully about what this legislation might end up doing… Rather than endorsing euthanasia, I want to call upon our government to strengthen palliative care, social services and support systems.