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Australian professor condemns Kiwi euthanasia bill in new #DefendNZ videos being released

A series of short videos featuring local and international euthanasia experts will be released across the #DefendNZ social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from today. They are being released in the lead up to the likely Second Reading of David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill on Wednesday 26 June – only days away.

Experts to feature include Australian Bioethics Professor Margaret Somerville of the University of Notre Dame.

She sees the proposed legalisation of euthanasia as “the crossing of an ethical and legal Rubicon, after which it becomes impossible to contain the application and practice of euthanasia.”

She sees the End of Life Choice Bill as a dangerous shift in ethics, law and medicine. “They think it can be controlled, but it can’t be. Once you step over that line, there is no logical stopping point.

“New Zealand is a beautiful country, but it is not unique. Should you pass the End of Life Choice Bill, you would suffer the same fate as other countries. In every single one of them, the criteria for access to euthanasia has widened, the rate of carrying out euthanasia without compliance with the law increases, and the number of cases of euthanasia increases rapidly.”

Also to feature in the videos is Auckland human rights lawyer Richard McLeod, UK former House of Lords staffer Robert Preston and other local medical, disability and legal voices.

The #DefendNZ movement has already released five documentaries on the subject this year, giving voice to thousands of vulnerable Kiwis who are speaking out about the dangers of the Bill. The movement, which has been growing steadily has the support of thousands of New Zealanders from a wide range of demographics – all united in their opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide being introduced into New Zealand.

Professor Margaret Somerville is Professor of Bioethics at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Prior to that, she was Samuel Gale Professor of Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and the founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law. Professor Somerville is a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the law and to bioethics, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Professor Somerville lends her vast expertise and experience in bioethics and the euthanasia experience around the world to #DefendNZ. She sees the legalisation of euthanasia as the crossing of an ethical and legal Rubicon, after which it becomes impossible to contain the application and practice of euthanasia. Professor Somerville speaks out to #DefendNZ ethics in the documentaries ‘A deadly double standard’, and ‘A life in chronic pain’, from #DefendNZ released this year featuring NZ former euthanasia advocate Claire Freeman and disabilities advocate Dr John Fox who lives with spastic hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy .

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