McCoskrie v Vickers – Seymour should pull plug on his euthanasia bill

NZ Herald 9 June 2017
Family First Comment: Politicians in NZ have rejected previous attempts to decriminalise euthanasia because the safeguards, while sounding good, would not guarantee the protection required for vulnerable people. The international evidence backs up these concerns.
Euthanasia is a problem, not a solution.

• COMMENT: Bob McCoskrie is national director of the lobby group Family First.
Act MP David Seymour should pull the plug on his private member’s bill.

Patients facing death have a fundamental human right to receive the very best palliative care, love and support that we can give to alleviate the ‘intolerable suffering’ that they fear. This is real ‘death with dignity’. Assisting their suicide is not the answer.

Assisted suicide would place large numbers of vulnerable people at real risk – in particular those who are depressed, elderly, disabled, experiencing chronic illness, and who feel under emotional or financial pressure to request early death.

They may come to feel euthanasia would be “the right thing to do”, they’ve “had a good innings”, and they do not want to be a “burden” to their nearest and dearest. Not a ‘right to die’ but a ‘duty to die’.A disability rights group in NZ said “There are endless ways of telling disabled people time and time again that their life has no value.”

One of the disturbing underlying justifications for euthanasia is that euthanasia could result in valuable savings in public healthcare and geriatric services expenditure. This is a disturbing development, perhaps unintentional, but a real risk.

The push for assisted suicide also presents a serious risk to public health and safety because there is a ‘social contagion’ aspect to suicide – assisted or non-assisted. We need more discussion about suicide prevention. You don’t discourage suicide by assisting suicide.

Politicians in NZ have rejected previous attempts to decriminalise euthanasia because the safeguards, while sounding good, would not guarantee the protection required for vulnerable people.

The international evidence backs up these concerns.

Euthanasia is a problem, not a solution.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11872478

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