Screenshot of Newshub Website taken Sunday 7 April at 7:11am, of article since removed from Newshub website.

Screenshot of Newshub Website taken Sunday 7 April at 7:11am, of article since removed from Newshub website.

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Newshub: Doctor with cerebral palsy fights against End of Life Choice Bill

UPDATE: As many of you have noticed, Newshub pulled the story below that was published on their site (shown). We've heard from the Senior Digital News Producer at Newshub that the story on John Fox's doco was taken down following a call from David Seymour. He had called the Producer to complain about the characterisation of the situation and to ask that more information be included in the story. The Producer says that he was alone in the office, and didn't have the capacity to update the story, so he pulled it from the site.


A man with cerebral palsy has shared his harrowing story as he fights back against euthanasia. Lobby group Defend New Zealand has released its third documentary in their battle against David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. Dr John Fox, who would be eligible, fears people may feel they're a burden if they don't choose to die.

"When you have really complicated psychological and emotional realities, really complicated physical realities that might not be well-understood - that makes me worry."

The full documentary can be viewed below or here.

Human rights lawyer Richard McLeod says any change in the law would end up snowballing.

"Experience overseas shows what were initially restrictive criteria always expand - the safeguards fall away. What starts out as a right to die for a few, quickly becomes a duty to die for many."

The Bill's backer in Parliament said last week it was easy for opponents to "speculate and fearmonger", and data doesn't back up their claims.

"What this End of Life Choice Bill will do is put in a regime of safeguards... that will be sufficiently safe and give better protection to people," he told The Project.

Whether New Zealand legalises euthanasia will be decided by a conscience vote in Parliament, where MPs don't have to vote along party lines. The End of Life Choice Bill passed its first reading 76-44, but MPs will often vote for a Bill in the first round so it can go to select committee, and this isn't always an indication of how the final vote may go.

Ninety percent of submissions at the select committee stage opposed the Bill, though scientific polls have a majority of Kiwis in favour of some form of assisted dying.


Watch John’s documentary in widescreen and read his complete story here.


#DefendNZ Comment: There is a vast difference between support for an abstract concept and support for a particular Bill with all its practical difficulties. It is no surprise that more than 35,000 doctors, lawyers, mental health workers and other New Zealanders cared enough to write submissions against the End of Life Choice Bill. It is deeply flawed and unworkable.

David Seymour is not only dismissive of Parliament’s submission process in general. He is also discrediting the Care Alliance’s quantitative and qualitative report on their analysis of 38,707 submissions while promoting a report which was written based on having read a mere 226 of them.

The cited review of 20 years’ research on New Zealanders’ attitudes to ‘assisted dying’ analysed polling only up to August 2017. A subsequent Curia Market Research Poll of 894 respondents in November 2017 found that New Zealanders confuse ‘assisted dying’ with end-of-life practices that are legal and available. This ground-breaking poll challenges the validity of most other polls on the issue. It shows that support for euphemisms such as ‘assisted dying’, ‘aid in dying’ or ‘assistance to end their life’ should not be taken as support for a law change or as support for any particular Bill.


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