Right to Life is disappointed and very concerned, at the support of the Prime Minister for Parliament to give consideration to legislation to provide euthanasia in New Zealand. At the recent New Zealand Forum on the Family held in Auckland, the Prime Minister stated that he would support a Private Member’s Bill on euthanasia being referred to a Select Committee for consideration.
In considering euthanasia it is important to recognise that euthanasia is about doctors killing their patients or assisting in their suicide. Euthanasia may be voluntary, involuntary or compulsory. If voluntarily administered by oneself, it is a form of suicide. If administered by another in an involuntary or compulsory way, it is a form of murder. Legislation permitting doctors to kill their patients would make them the most dangerous persons in the land.
The American statesman, Thomas Jefferson stated that the care of human life and happiness and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate objective of good government. It is not the prerogative of good government to provide for the killing of the ill or elderly.
There is no need for Parliament to give further consideration to euthanasia legislation. Parliament has previously considered so called ‘Death with Dignity Bills” the first that of Michael Laws in 1995 that was defeated at its first reading by 61 to 29 and the second the Bill of Peter Brown in 2003 that was defeated by 60 to 57.
The Prime minister should be aware that we have excellent palliative care for the terminally ill and that the New Zealand Medical Association is totally opposed to legislation that would allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
Euthanasia is a threat to the elderly and the ill. In Holland in 2009, 2636 patients were put to death by their doctor. In addition there were 400 deaths where the doctor assisted in the death of the patient and 550 deaths where the doctor killed the patient without explicit consent or request.
The prime Minister should recognise that abortion and euthanasia emanate from a culture of death. Euthanasia will continue to threaten our society until Parliament provides effective legal protection for the right to life of unborn children who are being killed, sanctioned and funded by the state.
Right to Life requests that the Prime Minister withdraws his support for euthanasia and actively promotes a culture of life that protects the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death.
Right to Life New Zealand.