Why there’s everything to fear about this ‘right to die’ Bill

Nov 17, 2019 by

by Ann Farmer, The Conservative Woman:

AFTER years of wrangling and stiff opposition, New Zealand legislators have finally passed a Bill that would legalise euthanasia, to be voted on in a referendum next year. 

The Bill was amended by its sponsors to take into account a range of objections, not least fears about ‘the vulnerability of the elderly being coerced to die’. It includes requirements that the patient must be diagnosed as having less than six months to live, must be ‘the first to suggest assisted dying’ and that two doctors must agree that the patient is well informed. David Seymour of the ‘libertarian’ party ACT insists that ‘people who are genuinely concerned have nothing to fear as there are robust safeguards in place’.

However Carolyn Moynihan of Mercatornet reveals that the New Zealand Bill is much worse than Mr Seymour makes out: a hospice opt-out was voted down, doctors will have to refer patients for assisted suicide if they have a conscientious objection to doing it themselves, and there is widespread public ignorance about the whole thing.

By now it should be obvious from the experience of ‘assisted dying’, notably in Holland, Belgium, Oregon and Canada, that the ‘safeguards’ are there only to get such Bills through, at which point the process of dismantling them begins. Our own 1961 Suicide Act contained the safeguard that assisting in a suicide would remain unlawful; now it is under siege, no longer seen as a safeguard but a barrier to autonomy – but to whose autonomy? By its very nature it is aimed at those who need ‘help’ to commit suicide – the sick, the elderly, the disabled; and when the public has got used to that idea, babies and the very young, the most helpless of all.

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