WelCom August 2017: The Parliamentary Select Committee that investigated into ending one’s life in New Zealand has yet to make its report, but New Zealanders have made it clear they are not in favour of legalising euthanasia. An unprecedented number of submissions rejected the idea by four to one.
However, an ‘End of Life Choice Bill’ has been drawn from the Ballot and will be debated in Parliament.
It is important the voice of the people be heard, and a law that will not be able to avoid unintended consequences be roundly defeated.
The Care Alliance launched a campaign on 10 July for people to send 10 postcards with 10 separate messages or questions to MPs about David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill. The campaign has been circulated at parish churches so parishioners can personally indicate to local MPs – or to any of the Political Party Leaders – opposition to this Bill and ask them to vote against it in Parliament.
Mr Seymour’s Bill is an extreme version of a very bad idea,’ said Matthew Jansen, Secretary of the Care Alliance. ‘All New Zealanders need to examine it critically, especially Members of Parliament.’
Depending on Parliament’s progress, MPs may vote on the Seymour Bill on 9 August 2017.
The key question for politicians is not about the moral acceptability of euthanasia or assisted suicide. It is their responsibility to consider whether it is possible to draft such a law with adequate safeguards. The safeguards in Mr Seymour’s Bill cannot protect vulnerable people from being pressured into prematurely ending their lives.
The NZ Bishops’ 2017 Election Statement begins under the heading of pro-life policies. It specifically refers to the risks of legalising assisted suicide, something that is now a real possibility with David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill.