WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Submissions to the Justice Committee on the End of Life Choice Bill

WelCom March 2018:

The closing date for submissions Justice Committee on David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill has been extended until Tuesday 6 March 2018.

If you haven’t already done so, you can make a submission about the Bill online, by email, or by letter to reach the Justice Committee by the closing date.

Web

Email

  • Email: ju@parliament.govt.nz
  • Subject line: End of Life Choice Bill
  • Include your name, address and phone number in your submission or on a separate file if you do not wish these details to be made public.
  • Attach your submission in pdf or doc format.

Letter

  • This submission requires a covering letter and the written submission.
  • At the top of the covering letter, write:
    • Submission on End of Life Choice Bill
    • To The Justice Committee
  • Then state the following:
    • ‘This Submission is from [your name] and/or [your organisation]’
    • Contact details: email, home address, phone number.
  • On a separate piece of paper, write your submission.
    • Send 2 copies of your submission and 2 copies of your covering letter to:
      Committee Secretariat
      Justice Committee
      Parliament Buildings
      Wellington

Submissions do not have to be long.

For more information, please visit www.nathaniel.org.nz


Further Information

In their submission, to the Health Select Committee in 2015, in response to the Committee’s investigation into Ending One’s Life in New Zealand, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops summarised their main points as follows:

  • The Catholic Church’s long involvement in the pastoral care of the dying and their families provides us with strong credentials to speak in societal debates about dying and death.
  • The factors that contribute to the desire to end one’s life are complex, and include grief in different forms, fear, loss of hope, and a sense of being trapped.
  • We know from our experience with the dying that a fearful, vulnerable, powerless person, religious or not, can be brought with good holistic care into a peaceful place where pain is controlled, their circumstances are dignified, and relationships can be enjoyed prior to death.
  • The argument that those opposed to the legalisation of assisted suicide do not have to use it narrows assisted suicide down to a matter of individual choice, and ignores the societal effects of the legalisation which will be experienced by everyone, particularly vulnerable groups.
  • International experiences show that legalisation leads to normalization, the expansion of eligibility either legislatively or in practice, loss of patient trust in the medical profession, and a climate of fear among the elderly and ill.
  • We like to think that as a country we are independent and courageous enough not to follow an international trend that poses significant risks to our people, especially when quality accessible palliative care is a practical alternative.

For further reading, see the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Statement of 1997, A Consistent Ethic of Life – Te Kahu-O-Te-Ora. It is on the Bishops’ website at:

www.catholic.org.nz/about-us/bishops-statements/a-consistent-ethic-of-life/