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Media

Overwhelming Opposition Confirmed On Assisted Suicide Bill

By | Media, Media Releases

Media Release 11 November 2018 
Family First NZ says that the overwhelming opposition to David Seymour’s assisted suicide bill by submitters to the Select Committee is no surprise and was already indicated during the earlier Inquiry by the Health Select Committee.

According to an analysis of a substantial number of the submissions by the Care Alliance, a whopping 92% of submissions are against David Seymour’s bill, and is significantly higher than the already-high 77% opposition during the Health Select Committee’s earlier investigation.

“This is opposition from all walks of life and professional groups across the spectrum. Supporters of assisted suicide have tried to argue that the only opposition comes from ‘religious’ people, but in the recent Inquiry, 82% of submissions opposed to euthanasia contained no reference to religious arguments. Ironically, 208 submissions referred to religious reasoning in supporting euthanasia,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Supporters of Seymour’s bill had their chance to campaign and get people to submit in support of the law change. The fact of the matter is that the support has been found wanting.”

“It is also ironic that ex-MP Maryan Street implied that a record 22,000 responses to her earlier petition meant that it is time to legalise euthanasia. In fact, the message is clearly the exact opposite. New Zealanders want a conversation – but they are opposed to assisted suicide as the solution.”

“The promotion of assisted suicide is a message that will be heard not just by those with a terminal illness but also by anyone tempted to think he or she can no longer cope with their suffering – whatever the nature of that suffering. This is the real risk to young and to vulnerable people, the disabled and elderly people if NZ follows the path of promoting – and allowing – assisted suicide.”

“The politicians should give New Zealanders a real Christmas present and move on from the current political push for assisted suicide, and focus on what New Zealanders really need and want – a focus on providing the very best palliative care and support for vulnerable people, whether they are at the end of their life, or momentarily wishing they were at the end of their life.”
ENDS

Police Right To Investigate Promotion & Enabling of Suicide

By | Media, Media Releases

Media Release 15 March 2018
Family First NZ says police are absolutely correct to be investigating, shutting down and prosecuting the promotion of suicide in New Zealand, and especially the operations of Philip Nitschke.

“The intent of the police was correct when checking on supporters of Exit International. Nitschke promotes suicide, has left a trail of destruction, and is evidence of just how far some euthanasia advocates will take an assisted suicide law if it was ever introduced. Just last year, Nitschke was exposed for selling suicide kits disguised as equipment for home-brewing beer. No controls. Just a credit card required. Vulnerable people are being exploited by his agenda and the police need to protect NZ’ers from him and groups associated with him,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

The Medical Board of Australia has imposed 25 strict conditions on Nitschke who they rightly believepresents a serious risk to public health and safety”. In 2014 Nitschke came under fire from two Australian suicide prevention organisations, Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute, after his involvement in the suicide of a physically healthy 45-year-old Australian man, Nigel Brayley.

Complaints have also been made regarding the suicides of Erin Berg, a 39-year-old mother suffering from post-natal depression who died an agonizing death from euthanasia drugs; Lucas Taylor, a 26-year-old suffering from hidden depression; Gillian Clark, a 47-year-old who was undergoing medical tests; and Joe Waterman, a physically healthy 25-year-old, among others.
The 2015 Victorian state government inquiry into end-of-life choices found that young and physically healthy people were killing themselves using a drug recommended by euthanasia groups – the same drug being recommended in NZ. The majority of those suicides were young people who were physically healthy, but mentally ill.

A Wellington woman ended her life with Nembutal in 2008, after receiving advice on how to obtain it from Dr Nitschke. She was a life-member of EXIT and was suffering from depression but was physically fit and not suffering a terminal illness.

“Nitschke defends the right of someone to take their own life, even when fit and healthy. New Zealanders reject this destructive message and the police are right to be prosecuting and investigating groups in order to remove this risk to vulnerable NZ’ers,” says Mr McCoskrie.
ENDS

Pledge to protect

By | Media

“We, the undersigned, oppose any attempt to legalise assisted suicide / euthanasia in New Zealand.
We call for the provision of the highest quality palliative care to be made available in all areas of New Zealand.”
signPledge

FAMILY MATTERS: EUTHANASIA – ARE YOU READY FOR THE DEBATE?

By | Featured, Media, Media Releases

Euthanasia (or assisted suicide) has certainly been in the media a lot lately. There is a strong push for it to be decriminalised in NZ as has happened in a few overseas countries.
Are you ready for this debate? Do you know the key arguments for euthanasia and how to counter them? Can you define ‘euthanasia’? (There is a lot of misunderstanding over the definition, which is further confusing the debate.) Why should we oppose euthanasia? What does the overseas experience show?
Please – take just a few minutes to watch our latest episode of Family Matters.
And then take the time to read and digest our report “Killing Me Softly – Should Euthanasia Be Legalised?”
CLICK HERE to download the Executive Summary
CLICK HERE to download the Full Report
We need your voice and energy on this important family issue, as well as ours.
Thank you for standing with us as we speak up for families.

Euthanasia Report Warns of Elder Abuse & Coercion

By | Media

 killing me softly cover pageA report on the history of the euthanasia debate in New Zealand and an examination of the law and the research evidence overseas warns of the potential for even greater levels of elder abuse if euthanasia were to be decriminalised in NZ. The Report “Killing Me Softly – Should Euthanasia Be Legalised?” by Professor Rex Ahdar of Otago University says that safeguards can only go so far, that coercion is subtle, and that patients will ask themselves why they are not availing themselves of it. He warns that the potential for abuse and flouting of procedural safeguards is also a strong argument against legalisation.
The report was commissioned by family group Family First NZ in response to another promised attempt to change the law by Labour MP Maryan Street after the upcoming general election.
The report warns that in practice, safeguards can only go so far, and that coercion is subtle. The everyday reality is that terminally ill persons and those afflicted with non-terminal but irreversible and unbearable physical or mental conditions are vulnerable to self-imposed pressure. They will come to feel euthanasia would be “the right thing to do”, they have “had a good innings”, and they do not want to be a “burden” to their nearest and dearest. Simply offering the possibility of euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide shifts the burden of proof, so that patients must ask themselves why they are not availing themselves of it.
A recent study found that 32 percent of all assisted deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium were done without the patient’s explicit request. The requirement to report euthanasia has not been fully complied with in nations that have legalised euthanasia either.
There is some empirical evidence too from these same nations that the availability and application of euthanasia expands to situations initially ruled out as beyond the pale. For example, euthanasia has been extended to enable minors to avail themselves of it with parental consent in the Netherlands and, most recently, Belgium. Labour MP Maryan Street has been reported as saying “Application for children with terminal illness was a bridge too far in my view at this time. That might be something that may happen in the future, but not now.”
The report also notes that the majority of the medical profession and national medical associations around the world have been resolutely against the introduction of voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, amidst real concerns that the role of the doctor would be irrevocably changed from healer to, at times, killer; from caring professional who saves lives to one who takes them. Inevitably, patient trust would be eroded.
The report concludes that any decriminalisation of euthanasia will introduce the era of “therapeutic killing”.
ENDS
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