Maggie Barry: Euthanasia not the answer
NZ Herald 16 Aug 2012
National Party MP Maggie Barry says the standard of healthcare for New Zealanders with terminal and chronic illnesses is so high euthanasia should not be considered as an alternative. Ms Barry’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Palliative Care will meet for the first time today and aims to improve MPs’ understanding of the care available. Palliative care focuses on relieving the suffering of patients with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. Ms Barry was partly inspired to form the group after witnessing the high-quality care her parents received before their deaths. Her father was diagnosed with cancer and stayed in Mary Potter Hospice until his death 15 years ago. “Mum and I were able to go up there and spend time with him. I had dreaded it but it was as good as it could have been.” But her primary motivation is to oppose assisted suicide as an alternative for seriously ill patients. She said euthanasia was part of the discussion when she chaired a working party on “Care of people who are dying”, but she had concluded it was not a sensible option.