Media Release 24 October 2019
Family First NZ says that the referendum on assisted suicide will be defeated by voters once they understand the law that may be passed by politicians next month, and the impacts it will have on both the vulnerable and society in general.
“It is one thing to say yes to a nice sounding phrase around having ‘choice’, but when voters examine the pitfalls and dangers of the bill that may be passed next month, they will quickly realise that assisted suicide is not a simple yes no answer,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The Select Committee were unable to agree that the bill be passed, and they warned that the bill is not workable in its present state. Many MPs who voted for the bill in the 1st Reading said that they would be waiting for the Committee to tell them how to make the bill better and safer before supporting it further. Virtually all of the SOPs designed to improve the bill have either been defeated or have not been allowed to be debated. The bill is still a mess.”
“Even if the bill was limited to just the terminally ill, some people will be euthanised on account of a disease they thought they had but did not. Prognosis is an uncertain procedure. Many people know or have heard of a person who, having been given a pessimistic prognosis, has lived for many years to tell the tale. There is also concrete evidence from those countries which have authorised euthanasia that the availability and application of euthanasia expands to situations never initially envisaged as indications for it.”
A poll in April showed that most Kiwis balk in their support of assisted dying when questioned about specific aspects of euthanasia.
The Care Alliance analysis of the almost-39,000 submissions found that 91.8% were opposed to the Bill, but most importantly, 93.5% of submissions received from doctors, nurses and other health care staff were opposed.
“The promotion of euthanasia places large numbers of vulnerable people at risk – in particular those who are depressed, elderly, sick, disabled, those experiencing chronic illness, limited access to good medical care, and those who feel themselves to be under emotional or financial pressure to request early death,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“The details and understanding of an actual euthanasia law is the killer for support.”