Mr James Shaw MP,
Dear Mr Shaw
The Green Party has the dubious distinction of being the first political party to initiate a policy to seek to have the Crimes Act amended to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
The chief Coroner recently announced that 579 persons committed suicide in the year 2015/16. This is the highest total ever recorded in New Zealand. Every suicide is a tragedy for the family and for the community. The government has an excellent suicide prevention strategy, which deserves the support of Parliament and the community. Does the Green Party support the strategy?
It is a tragedy for New Zealand that the Green Party has adopted a policy to seek to change the law to allow the government to fund doctor assisted suicide. Overseas experience reveals that where the law is changed to allow doctors to assist in the suicide of patients, the national suicide rate increases.
It is noted that your policy will provide doctor assisted suicide for those who are disabled.
In view of the fact that there is not one organisation representing the disabled in New Zealand that has made a submission in support of euthanasia, why is your Party pursuing a policy that is in conflict with the disability sector and that further devalues the lives of the disabled?