Right to Life is concerned and alarmed at attacks on religious freedom made in statements made recently by Matt Vickers and David Seymour MP, challenging submissions opposing euthanasia by people of religious faith. Vickers at the (above linked) media conference made the following statement (in acknowledging that there were far more submissions against decriminalization than for it)
“Whatever the numbers are they do not give you a mandate to shirk your responsibilities.”
Vickers clearly does not like the results of the submission process where all New Zealanders were given the right to have their say on this issue. And because he does not like the result he now has the effrontery to state that the Health Select Committee would be ‘shirking their responsibilities if they took into consideration the numbers of those who opposed euthanasia. This is a brazenly inflammatory statement. Matt Vickers does not have the right to tell the Committee what are and what are not its responsibilities.
Matt Vickers and David Seymour seek nothing less than the overthrow of the wisdom of millennia of medical ethics.
Surely every citizen is entitled to be heard by the Health Committee and have those concerns taken into serious consideration; those with faith and those without. Those for euthanasia and those opposed. Both David Seymour and Matt Vickers have clearly challenged the right of citizens to be heard who included mention of God in their submissions. They are seeking to silence and even demonize those opposed to doctors killing their patients or assisting in their suicide. This is nothing other than a clear violation of our right to free speech.
Right to Life calls again for our community to defend our culture of life, founded on respect for the sanctity of life of every human being and to reject a culture of death.
Right to Life asks the community to defend our culture and to recognise that at heart here is a sought watershed change in the way we view life and death. Euthanasia is not a religious issue, but a human rights issue. Euthanasia is about giving doctors the right to kill their patients or assist in their suicide. Every human being from the moment of conception to natural death, has an inalienable right to life. Nobody not even the state can take that right from us. The European Court of Human Rights found in 2002, stated that our right to life did not allow a person to choose to be assisted by a doctor or any other person to kill themselves.
Matt Vickers and David Seymour may be well meaning, but under the guise of compassion they seek to overthrow our laws and foundational norms within our culture, which are based on the sanctity of life, where every life is valued, cherished and protected. They seek to replace a respect for life ethic with a quality of life ethic. This new ethic deems that some lives are not worthy of life and can be disposed of as they are seen as a burden on either themselves, their families and/or the state.
Right to Life applauds citizens, who are motivated by a faith in God, and enlightened by an informed conscience defended life by making submissions opposing a law change to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
Matt Vickers and David Seymour should be aware, that our right to freedom of expression is in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and in the New Zealand Bill of Rights. They should be aware that this country was founded by men and women of religious faith and that our laws are based on Judeo Christian principles.
The Crimes Act is one of many acts founded on these principles. The law clearly prohibits inciting, counselling, or procuring any person to commit suicide and homicide. We amend them at our peril.
Right to Life.
Phone 03 3856111