By Boris Jancic. Opponents of a bill legalising voluntary euthanasia say they're encouraged Parliament's support for the legislation has thinned at its second reading and are vowing to only get louder. Anti-euthanasia group #DefendNZ Creative Director Henoch Kloosterboer said the opposition voice would keep growing. "It's not going to change. It's not going to stop. There are so many more conversations to be had between now and third reading," he said. "This thing isn't going away. The risks aren't going away. The burden of proof is on the proponents to prove vulnerable New Zealanders will not be placed at risk. One wrongful death would be too many."
By Jannah Dennison. It is extraordinarily difficult to discuss suicide and euthanasia at the same time. But there is an urgent conversation to be had: what are the implications for New Zealand’s suicide prevention programme of introducing the End of Life Choice Bill? It can seem as if suicide and euthanasia are quite separate issues. On the one hand, suicide is devastating: a mental health tragedy brought on by a range of complex issues. These issues can be addressed with ongoing support and education. Suicide is seen as irrational, and avoidable. On the other hand, euthanasia can seem vastly different: a measured, compassionate response for seriously ill and suffering people. Such people may be well-supported, with stable mental health. Euthanasia – though still difficult - is seen here as rational and considered.
Dr Mustafa Farouk QSM: FIANZ, the voice of New Zealand’s Muslim community since 1979, is opposed to euthanasia and the End of Life Choice Bill. We give voice to our concerns on behalf of our community. As New Zealand Muslims, we are worried that the vulnerability of our community members could be exploited if euthanasia is legalised by Parliament.
Media Release: Disability Commissioner Paula Tesoriero outlayed her concerns about the End of Life Choice Bill to John Campbell on TVNZ’s Breakfast yesterday morning. "I'm concerned that the safeguards are woefully inadequate,” she said. “I'm deeply troubled by the fact that this conversation is taking place in the absence of having a wider discussion about adequate disability support services in New Zealand.” Ms Tesoriero referenced a recent report from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, on her visit to Canada. The UN report, published in April 2019, highlights concerns that disabled people are being pressured to consider euthanasia in Canada.
By Alex Perrottet. Checkpoint has run the numbers and canvassed experts views from around the country and overseas. Interviewees include: Dr Otmar Kloiber - Secretary General of the World Medical Association, Robert Preston - a former civil servant in Britain who investigated euthanasia internationally for the British Parliament, Prof Margaret Somerville - Australian ethicist with nine doctorates who spent 40 years in Canada, Kate Baddock - NZMA chair, Dr Rod MacLeod from Auckland's Hibiscus Hospice, Dr Sinead Donnelly of Doctors Say No, former MP Maryan Street, retired intensive care medicine specialist Dr Jack Havill, and many more.
By Dr Amanda Landers. I get the feeling the general public think death is a black-and-white issue. I cannot think of a subject that has more grey. The answer to bad deaths is not euthanasia. The answer is a better understanding of basic medical ethics, of palliative medicine, of what happens to the body when it is dying, and how to care for someone at the end of life.
By Cushla Norman. Doctors against the Euthanasia Bill have stepped up their campaign, taking out a full-page advert in today's Herald on Sunday with more than a thousand signatures in opposition. The Bill allows doctors to assist terminally ill people who are likely to die within six months. A letter of opposition was organised by Dr Sinead Donnelley as thoughts on assisted dying continues to divide the public, politicians and medical professionals.
By Derek Cheng. MPs opposing a bill that would legalise euthanasia are planning to put up more than 100 amendments that could push its possible passage well into next year. As currently drafted, the bill would allow New Zealanders to request assisted dying if they have a terminal illness or suffer from "a grievous and irremediable medical condition". Barry also attacked Seymour for saying that "the Sunday after the vote, the confessionals will be filled with people who have acted in quite disappointing ways misleading the public about my bill". Barry called it a "silly cheap shot" on faith-based people. "He has attempted to make it personal at different times to different groups, and I think that's deplorable. It's a much more important conversation than that and it's much bigger, even though he might not like to admit it, than even David Seymour."
More than 1000 doctors have signed an open letter saying they want no part in what they call assisted suicide. The Care Alliance, a charity which opposes physician-assisted euthanasia, has taken out a full-page ad in the New Zealand Herald. The signatories endorse the views of the World Medical Association and New Zealand Medical Association, that euthanasia is unethical, even if made legal. Dr Sinead Donnelly, who organised the letter, said the bill is unworkable, “The message is that as doctors we don't want to be part of it. You're going to, in our view, destroy the profession of medicine by drawing us in to ending the life of our patients and two, the risk to the vulnerable is much too great.”
By Grant Illingworth QC. The End of Life Choice Bill may be compelling in its rationale, but the execution of such a law would break the social contract the State has with some of our weakest and most vulnerable citizens and expose them to a dangerous new world in which manipulation and coercion could take on deadly consequences.
By Simon Shepherd & Finn Hogan. Vicki Walsh was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer almost eight years ago, and has defied her initial prognosis of 14 months to live. Despite her diagnosis, she opposes the End of Life Choice Bill introduced by ACT leader David Seymour last year, which is due for its second reading in Parliament this week. Speaking to Newshub Nation, Walsh sent a plea to politicians to oppose the Bill. “I’d say we trust our politicians to make decisions for us. That’s why we don’t get to drive around at 150 kilometres or not wear our seat belt, or we have to wear a helmet when we’re riding our pushbike, and I think we trust them to protect us. We need them to protect us from this bill because idealistically, it could look very appealing to some people. It’s what it opens up.”
Media Release: 10% of older people in New Zealand experience some form of abuse, according to Age Concern professional educator on elder abuse and neglect, Hanny Naus. Age Concern see a wide range of older people who are abused, with 4 out of 5 of them being abused by family members. Speaking about David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill Ms Naus said, “Certainly, one of the issues around euthanasia is whether people’s life is of value. When it comes to elder abuse particularly, often the psychological threat that sits below it is that older people have no value – and so when it comes to euthanasia, from an elder abuse point of view, we would certainly argue that anybody’s life has value.”
The 58-year-old Kiwi euthanasia advocate who appeared in a Dunedin court in 2011 charged with attempting to murder his terminally ill mother in 2006, has now pleaded guilty to three cases of assisted suicide in South Africa. He faced charges of premedited murder at the Western Cape High Court. Renée Joubert of Euthanasia-Free NZ applauded the decision today. "Politicians who don't want euthanasia to be available to people with disabilities, mental illness, and others who may have decades to live, need to vote against the End of Life Choice Bill on June 26," she said.
Magic Drive with Ryan Bridge: With today marking assisted dying becoming legal in Victoria, and with David Seymour’s euthanasia Bill to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday 26 June, Ryan Bridge spoke with an euthanasia expert from Australia who featured in the #DefendNZ documentaries, Professor of Bioethics, Margaret Somerville. “What we're doing here is legalising intentional killing. Now up until you've got some legislation that allows that, as you just have in Victoria, that is first degree murder! So we have to look at what happens with this – it gets normalised. It becomes a normal way to die. Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 deaths in The Netherlands are by euthanasia – and that's the ones that we know about – and we know that there's a big under-reporting problem.”
Media Release: 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.”
Jim Mora interviews the UK’s Lord Carlile of Berriew QC. He has been involved in parliamentary activity in the UK for several years now, opposing euthanasia bills that have been presented, due to concerns over various safeguards. He explains why he opposes New Zealand's End of Life Choice Bill from a "secular, ethical dimension".
克莱尔17岁时因为车祸成为了四肢瘫痪者，她甚至安排自己去瑞士实施安乐死。When Claire was 17, she became a tetraplegic because of a car accident. She even arranged for herself to be euthanized in Switzerland. 想一想你可能与父母进行的最艰难的对话！一名新西兰女子，克莱尔·弗里曼（Claire Freeman）和她的爸爸，在不同的时间段，争论过是否要对自己着手实施安乐死。Think of the most difficult conversation you can have with your parents! A New Zealand woman, Claire Freeman, and her father have argued at different times about whether she should seek out euthanasia.
#DefendNZ Media Release. Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero MNZM was quoted on TVNZ’s Sunday programme last night speaking against the effectiveness of proposed changes to the End of Life Choice Bill to limit access to euthanasia or assisted suicide to those with terminal illness and with six months left to live. The Bill’s sponsor has suggested this will fix the Bill. Presenter Miriama Kamo reports Tesoriero saying that such a change would not safeguard disabled people. "Overseas experience has shown the scope is likely to expand over time and take in groups initially excluded," she said.
By Chris Ford. Chris Ford, a former Green Party List MP Candidate, and current Green Party member explains from 'a socialist, progressive and disability rights perspective’ why he has now swung his support to the anti-euthanasia camp', now firmly in the 'no' side on the voluntary euthanasia legislation conversation. “One could imagine that deeper future cuts to health and disability services would see many more disabled people placed under even greater pressure by both government and wider society to feel worthless and a burden.”
By Janet McIntyre. Think about the most difficult conversation you could have with your parents. Claire Freeman is having it right now with her dad and our cameras are rolling. Claire is in a wheel chair after becoming a tetraplegic when she was 17. She’s made numerous attempts on her life and even made arrangements to go to Switzerland to be assisted to die, to the heartbreak of her family.
Hayley Holt interviews Dr Kate Baddock. Newly proposed amendments to the End of Life Choice Bill, which is set to have its Second Reading in Parliament, have been strongly rejected by the New Zealand Medical Association, with its chair saying it "goes against the ethics of our profession".
Most New Zealanders don’t support euthanasia for those who refuse treatment. A new nationwide Curia Market Research poll has found that 60% of New Zealanders don’t want a law that would allow an 18-year-old to refuse treatment and instead choose to die by euthanasia. A quarter (24%) would support such a law. “We can expect the boundaries to be extended in response to such pressure. Changes may not necessarily go through Parliament, but may instead consist of changes in how doctors or courts apply the law.” says Euthanasia-Free NZ spokesperson. They call on MPs to reject the End of Life Choice Bill at its Second Reading.
We endorse the views of the World Medical Association and the New Zealand Medical Association that physician assisted suicide an euthanasia are unethical, even if they were made legal. Doctors are not necessary in the regulation of practice of assisted suicide. They are included only to provide a cloak of medical legitimacy. Leave doctors to focus on saving lives and providing real care to the dying. 1,000 Doctors say say.
#DefendNZ Media Release. We all have a stake in the End of Life Choice Bill conversation, but for some people, this Bill is more than a thought experiment – it is a clear and present danger. For this reason, some of the people featured in the #DefendNZ documentaries are in the Capital to make themselves available to speak personally with MPs and media.
By Janet McIntyre. TVNZ's Sunday showed this trailer on Sunday 19 May, about how life in a wheelchair drove Claire Freeman to try to end her life, but Claire's now fighting to save other people's lives. "I know of people who will die because of this Bill." The full story will be aired on TVNZ's Sunday programme at 7:30pm on TVNZ One on Sunday 26th May 2019.
Euthanasia-Free NZ. A new nationwide Curia Market Research poll shows the gap between supporters and opponents of euthanasia is narrowing, and that many people withdraw their support when asked to consider some of the details involved in the End of Life Choice Bill, says Euthanasia-Free NZ executive officer Renée Joubert.
By Kim Knight. Euthanasia, says MacLeod, is "predominantly a white middle-class push. "There's no push in India for euthanasia, no push in Thailand or Japan. They think we're mad. They look after the people who are most vulnerable. "If we're serious about caring for New Zealanders then we need to make sure that everybody has access to palliative care. That every single rest home has adequate staffing to care for people who are dying, that every hospital recognises when people are dying, and puts in more care - not less. Rather than saying 'we can't deal with this, so we'll kill people', you look at the problem and solve the problem."
By Eruera Rerekura. A Māori opponent of the End of Life Choice Bill says the proposed legislation goes against tikanga Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi. Ngapuhi woman Claire Freeman was amongst those who presented her views to parliament this week. The bill was due for its second reading but has been delayed until later this month (likely Wednesday 22 May 2019).
By Grant Illingworth QC. In the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings, heavily armed police were urgently mobilised as soon as the threat was revealed. The Government acted to protect the lives of every individual in this country, with force if necessary. The Crown's fundamental obligation is to govern and protect every subject ... Opening the door to assisted suicide, without an absolute assurance that mistakes will never be made, would egregiously breach that obligation. No-one can give such assurance: it is certainly not provided by the bill currently before the House. It follows that every MP who agrees with the principle of reciprocal protection should vote to end the life of the End of Life Choice Bill.
By Lucy Bennett: People with disabilities and terminal illnesses spent the afternoon at Parliament today in a last-ditch bid to convince MPs to vote against the End of Life Choice Bill. The controversial Bill, in the name of Act leader David Seymour, is due to have its second reading soon. It passed its first reading 76 votes to 44, by conscience vote, and Seymour is confident it will pass its second reading.