Submissions Say No To Assisted Suicide 3:1

Media Release 12 Aug 2016
Family First NZ is welcoming an analysis of submissions made to the Inquiry on assisted suicide showing a 3:1 opposition to any change in the law, and is also calling on ACT MP David Seymour to withdraw his grandstanding bill so that the important conversation around end-of-life care can happen.

“It is ironic that ex-MP Maryan Street implied that a record 22,000 responses to her petition meant that it is time to legalise euthanasia. In fact, the message is clearly the exact opposite. New Zealanders want a conversation – but they are opposed to assisted suicide as the solution,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“We’re calling on David Seymour to kill his pre-emptive strike on this issue, withdraw his private members bill, and support the Inquiry to its completion. The country needs to have a robust honest debate about assisted suicide without the emotion of a law change in the mix, and examine whether so-called ‘safeguards’ deserve that label, whether coercion is subtle but real, whether patients will ask themselves why they are not availing themselves of assisted suicide, and whether our already-excellent palliative care regime can be improved in any way.”

“There are mixed messages when society rightly wants to take a zero tolerance approach to suicide yet at the same time attempts to approve a person taking their life. The potential for abuse and flouting of procedural safeguards is a strong argument against assisted suicide. Overseas experience proves that the risk of abuse cannot be eliminated. The risk of ‘suicide contagion’ associated with a media campaign around promoting euthanasia is also a real concern,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“David Seymour should pull the plug on his private member’s bill and allow the conversation to happen.”

More than 21,000 New Zealanders to have their say on euthanasia – MPs to hold roadshow 11 August 2016
A petition to hold a parliamentary inquiry into euthanasia has pulled in a staggering 21,000 submissions from across New Zealand.

It’s an issue more than 1800 submitters felt strongly enough about, that they also wanted to appear in front of Parliament’s Health Select Committee to speak to MPs directly.

Committee chair Simon O’Connor said the MPs would hold hearings around New Zealand, to allow as many as possible the chance to submit in person.

“The Office of the Clerk has processed a total of 21,435 written submissions.  This represents the bulk of submissions received.

“A final number will be known later in the process after the Office of the Clerk completes its final considerations,” he said.


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