5 Days Until NZ Elections: “One wrongful death is one too many” Vote NO to EOLC Bill

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Media release: “One wrongful death is one too many”

Heather Major: a tireless advocate against this ill prepared Bill

Hamilton widow, minister and disability advocate is concerned that as would-be law-makers, Kiwi voters do not know what the End of Life Choice Act is about. Although she just spent 24 hours in Garden Place on Sunday, she will be back in Garden Place, Hamilton this Friday 9th October 12pm-3pm to answer questions joined by retired lawyer Ruth Wilson. A casket will make the poignant point that one wrongful death is one too many.

The Four Camps

Heather has been giving talks about the proposed Act to over 1200 voters in the last 2 months. She finds that there are 4 camps: those who don’t care, those who are for assisted dying and for the Act, those who are against assisted dying and against the Act, and an increasing number of people in the 4th camp who are pro-the choice but anti-risk. They would like the option for themselves but because of safety concerns for others they will not be voting for this Act.

Read exactly what  the EOLC Bill says here for yourself

 

Fears of the Elderly

A recent Otago study said healthy older Kiwis who want the End of Life Choice Act primarily support it because of fear of becoming disabled and not wanting to become a burden. Fear of pain did not feature greatly in these participants’ reasons for supporting assisted dying.

 80% of New Zealanders are still confused

  • Heather decided to return to Garden Place after reading a nationwide Curia poll from 30th September that found that about 80% of New Zealanders are still confused about what the End of Life Choice Act would legalise.
  • Less than a third (28%) of people surveyed knew that this Act would make euthanasia available to people even if they don’t have any physical pain.
  • Only 21% knew that this Act would not make it legal to have life support machines turned off. “Most people don’t realise turning off life-support is one of several existing end of life choices we can name in an Advanced Care Plan already”, Heather said.
  • Just 18% were aware that terminally ill people who meet all the eligibility criteria but also have depression or another mental illness, would indeed be allowed assisted dying under this Act.
The Act states that a person cannot be eligible for a lethal dose when their only reason is mental illness, advanced age or disability. However, the Act would not exclude people who are mentally ill, elderly or disabled if they also have a terminal illness and meet the other eligibility criteria.

Alarm bells for Heather

This alarms Heather who says “Voters need to know for example that a friend’s mental illness could be the underlying medical condition that drives them to request assisted dying, a condition that may be connected to their terminal illness but also treatable.”
“Unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner the person considers tolerable” means it is up to the person to define their suffering as unbearable.

No Witnesses required ???

There are no witnesses at any point in the process in the proposed Act including the day the lethal dose is administered which doesn’t protect the person or the doctor.

About 41% of respondents assumed that the Act would require two witnesses when a person signs their euthanasia request in front of the doctor and about 40% were unsure. Only 18% knew that the Act does not include this safeguard.

Parliament did not discuss why the witnesses were left out of the law New Zealand is voting on. This is despite the fact that it has been included in the assisted dying laws of Canada; Victoria and Western Australia; and nine US states.

Doctors (https://doctorssayno.nz/), lawyers (https://lvnz.org/) and most recently psychologists (http://www.unsafelaw.org.nz/) have signed open statements warning New Zealand against this particular Act.
Heather Major and Ruth Wilson strongly encourage voters to understand the Act before they vote from the legal, ethical, medical and Maori perspectives

Reference

Heather Major Facebook
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