Euthanasia already happening in hospitals – PM

Dominion Post 23 Aug 2012
Prime Minister John Key says euthanasia already happens in our hospitals – and if he was terminally ill, he would consider it. Doctors disagreed with him last night, saying his view of the situation was too simplistic. Mr Key said yesterday that he could understand the argument that legalising euthanasia might put pressure on the elderly to end their lives early, in the face of “rapacious grandkids”, but “I don’t really buy that argument”. “I think there’s a lot of euthanasia that effectively happens in our hospitals,” he told Newstalk ZB. “. . . If I had terminal cancer, I had a few weeks to live, I was in tremendous amount of pain – if they just effectively wanted to turn off the switch and legalise that by legalising euthanasia, I’d want that.”

Ian Powell, director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, which represents senior doctors, said he did not think euthanasia was happening in hospitals the way Mr Key made it out to be. “The situation is much more complex than that . . . Sometimes continuing a treatment can prolong the agony for a patient, and not even keep the patient alive. “By not prolonging the agony . . . even though the intent is not for the patient to die, it is sometimes a consequence.”
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7530298/Euthanasia-already-happening-in-hospitals-PM

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