Sad day for New Zealand – following the Netherlands where one in twenty five of all deaths are now a result of euthanasia. Care and Kill are not Interchangeable words. Opposed by New Zealand’s doctors, disability groups and hospices: a bad law with bad consequences
With so many vulnerable and elderly people fighting to survive the Covid pandemic, we need laws to protect the vulnerable, not to make it easier to kill them.
In the Netherlands one in twenty five of all deaths are now a result of euthanasia
These death on demand laws – which turn doctors into destroyers of life rather than defenders of life – replace the duty to care with the duty to kill.
They become laws of unintended consequences – often triggered by well-meaning intentions but then leading to appalling consequences as, overnight, what had been a crime becomes routine, putting at risk the vulnerable.
One of New Zealand’s human rights lawyers, Dr Huhana Hickey, who has Multiple sclerosis, says “I don’t believe this law is safe for the disability community, for the Māori community or for anyone who has a risk factor in their lives.”
New Zealand’s Doctors Say No Movement – with 1,800 NZ doctors as members – opposes the change to the law urging Kiwis to “leave doctors to focus on saving lives and providing real care to the dying.”
The World Medical Association and New Zealand Medical Association are opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide and so is Hospice New Zealand – which provides palliative care and says people with a terminal illness may feel pressurised into euthanasia.
This is a bad law which will have bad consequences: the New Zealand law has no assessment to check individuals aren’t being coerced into assisted dying or euthanasia; no mental health checks; concerns about pressure to choose death due to lack of options; and a potential lack of equal access to good palliative care.