Media Release 30 October 2020
Family First NZ says that the End of Life Choice Act – a.k.a. assisted suicide law – will be a danger to both the vulnerable and society in general.
“It is one thing to say yes to a nice sounding phrase around having ‘choice’, but assisted suicide is not a simple yes no answer,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Some people will be euthanised on account of a disease they thought they had but did not. Prognosis is an uncertain procedure. Others will request assisted suicide because of coercion either internally or from relatives, or concerns around costs of treatment, and others will be struggling because of a terminal disease prognosis and actually just need appropriate support.”
“They may come to feel euthanasia would be ‘the right thing to do’; they’ve ‘had a good innings’ and do not want to be a ‘burden’ to their nearest and dearest. This law now means that vulnerable people facing a terminal illness will be asking themselves – why should I not be accessing euthanasia?”
There is also concrete evidence from those countries which have authorised euthanasia that the availability and application of euthanasia expands to situations never initially envisaged as indications for it. Netherlands has recently backed plans for euthanasia for terminally ill children under-12, is considering euthanasia being automatically available for healthy people over 75 years old, and a champion of the Dutch euthanasia system has admitted that assisted dying is a slippery slope to ‘random killing of the defenceless’. And a kiwi pro-euthanasia campaigner is already calling for an expansion of the criteria to qualify for assisted suicide.
“Nothing in this Act guarantees the protection required for vulnerable people, including the disabled, elderly, depressed or anxious, and those who feel themselves to be a burden or who are under financial pressure,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“How many euthanasia mistakes are we willing to accept? Today is a sad and dangerous day for the vulnerable.”