WelCom May 2019:
Peter Thirkell, Secretary of the Care Alliance, welcomed the Justice Select Committee’s statement that the End of Life Choice Bill ‘is not workable in its present state’.
The Care Alliance position regarding the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide, agreed by all its member organisations (who include all of the major providers of palliative care in New Zealand), is that they are unnecessary, unsafe and unwise.
Peter Thirkell said, ‘Mr Seymour should withdraw his bill immediately. It is simply not feasible for MPs to try to ‘fix’ the bill during the Committee of the Whole House stage, as that would deny New Zealanders their right to have a say on different proposals.
‘This is simply too serious an issue for ad hoc amendments to be made on the floor of the house with no expert or wider consultation. There are far too many problems that need further discussion.
‘We are opposed to euthanasia in any form, but we are particularly worried about the unintended consequences of rushed ill-considered law in an area as fraught as this.’
Dr Thirkell added, ‘If Mr Seymour won’t do the right thing, then Parliament should recognise that this Bill is simply not fit for purpose, and resoundingly defeat it at Second Reading.’