The Five Documentaries
What can I do?
Tell your MP
Tell your MP
In the debate about legalising euthanasia, Kylee hears a lot of people talk about how it gives you a “choice”. But from her experience of living with a life-limiting (terminal) medical condition, choice is a relative term. When you live your life heavily reliant on other people and require costly treatments to stay alive, having the legal option to end your life could make you feel pressured to take up the offer.
Claire, a tetraplegic since the age of 17, once sought out assisted suicide from a clinic in Switzerland. When she realised that she wanted to die not because of her medical condition but because of her mental health, a whole new world opened up to her. She turned from assisted suicide supporter to assisted suicide critic. Today she wonders why New Zealand would accept and support the suicides of the seriously ill and the disabled when we’re trying so hard to battle suicide amongst the well and able-bodied.
Claire could become eligible for euthanasia under the terminal illness criteria if she were to refuse the cares and treatment that are keeping her alive.
John shares his story of a life with cerebral palsy, chronic pain and declining mobility. Not one who usually seeks the limelight, John speaks out here to assert the right of those with disabilities to fair, compassionate, life-affirming treatment and inclusion in society. As he says, “If I were a 25-year-old rugby player, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Suddenly, because I’m sick, I have to stand in front of a camera and say why I think my life is valuable. This in itself is a huge problem.”
Vicki, who has a terminal brain tumour, knows what it’s like to want to die. She also knows what it’s like to want to live. Watching recent high-profile cases of young women with brain tumours seeking a doctor’s assistance to die by a lethal dose, she has felt extremely vulnerable – like she was being selfish by not ending her life. Laws send messages, and they have an impact beyond those who campaign for them so loudly and forrcefully. Vicki doesn’t want the law to tell her that her life is of lesser value than the lives of able=bodied people.
Glenn’s doctors gave him a prognosis of six months to live three times over a period of nearly nine years. Prognosis cannot only be a little off, it can be flat out wrong. Would euthanasia have been legal, Glenn could have ended his life with years still left ahead of him. He would have missed out on so much, as would his wife and young daughter.