A bill which would make assisted suicide legal (David Seymour’s “The End of Life Choice Bill”) has passed its first reading and it is now being considered by the Justice Select Committee.
Submissions are now being accepted on this bill with the closing date javing been extended from its original February 20.to March 6.
If you have never made a submission, please consider making a submission on this bill as it were to be passed into law, it would pose a threat to the lives of vulnerable New Zealanders.
In parts of the world, where assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia have been legalised, these laws has been abused, such as this awful case where a woman was killed without consent.
There is also a significant risk that access to treatments for people who have serious illness could be further curtailed on the basis that assisted suicide/euthanasia provides a cheaper option than providing either curative or palliative medical care. A US doctor recently spoke out because he had patients whose health insurance companies refused to fund life saving treatment because lethal drugs cost less.
Euthanasia can also become a way by which the medical profession deals with the casualties of failed treatments or criminal conduct on the part of specific medical practitioners.
A particularly sad case of the latter type was a woman who was suffering from depression and anorexia who sought euthanasia after she was sexually abused by one of her doctors.
A cautionary tale about how to legalisation of assisted suicide/euthanasia can change attitiudes of doctors and nurses towards patients may be read at this link: https://www.16000voices.org.nz/health-select-committee-submissions/hear-from-someone-with-family-in-the-netherlands
There is also the fact that New Zealand already has a terrible rate of suicide. Making suicide legal under some circumstances would be likely to make suicide due to temporary mental/emotional distress seem like a more attractive option to people suffering through a personal crisis.
According to one of the organisations which is providing leadership in the campaign against the assisted suicide bill, writing a submission could be as simple as taking the following steps:
1. Open a new document on your computer, or get some writing paper. Start your document with your name, “End of Life Choice Bill”, and “I oppose the End of Life Choice Bill”, and then write as little or as much as you want, sharing your views. If you need some inspiration, check the webpage www.protect.org.nz – but simply tell your story and your personal reasons for opposing the bill. If you wish to appear before the Committee to speak to your submission, then state that also. (NB: Speaking before the committee is optional).
2. If you’re emailing your submission, ATTACH your submission document (step 1) to the email, and in the email itself, put the heading: End of Life Choice Bill, and your details: Name of Individual / Family / Organisation, Address, Phone, Signature. Don’t put your personal details in the attached submission document as your submission is posted on the government website.
Send your submission to: email@example.com.
3. If you’re posting your submission, once you have completed step 1, do a covering letter (separate piece of paper) with the heading End of Life Choice Bill, and your details: Name of Individual / Family / Organisation, Address, Phone, Signature. Don’t put your personal details on your actual submission (step 1) as your submission is posted on the government website (but not the covering letter).
Post to: Committee Secretariat, Justice Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160.
Family First has produced a detailed submission guide for people who want to make a submission and you can access this by clicking on the link below:
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