Saving Downs 25 July 2013
New Zealand Labour Party MP Maryan Street has a private members bill for euthanasia sitting in the ballot box in Parliament. If this bill is drawn and subsequently made law, it paves the way for the un-consented killing of people with Down syndrome in New Zealand. Such a situation is entirely unacceptable and will be opposed in the strongest terms.
If this concept sounds farfetched, just look at the draft bill.
…There are many good doctors who support our community and are committed to protecting life. But, they won’t be the certifying medical practitioners. Let’s be clear here. A certifying medical practitioner is by definition a supporter of euthanasia. Add in a negative bias many Doctors have towards those with Down syndrome and we have a toxic mix, the possibility of a legal pathway to the killing of people with Down syndrome, effectively with impunity.
Maybe we would give all doctors the benefit of the doubt that they will comply with the law. But, we can recognise the negative bias many of them have towards our community. The type of bias where at Waikato and Auckland Hospitals they encourage late term abortions for planned and wanted pregnancies when there is a diagnosis of Down syndrome or Spina Bifida.
Maybe some of these pro-euthansia “certifying medical practitioners” think people with Down syndrome are a burden, some type of disadvantage (as described by bio-ethicists at Otago University), a life unworthy of life. We have heard it all before. Maybe an adult with Down syndrome is poorly in hospital and they are taking up resources that a “normal” person would better benefit from.