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

‘End of Life Choice Bill should be withdrawn immediately

WelCom May 2019:

Pasifika people gathered at Parliament on Tuesday 9 April to ask all Members of Parliament to vote ‘no’ to the End of Life Choice Bill. Organisers said that Pacific peoples’ culture is to care for families and for each other unconditionally, especially elders, the sick and dying. Pacific culture respects all people and affirms the value of their lives. The End of Life Choice Bill (to legalise euthanasia) will undermine these values. Photo: Mary-Ann Greaney

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.’