Right to Life welcomes and supports the Parliamentary Health Select Committee in its consideration of the petition of the Hon Maryan Street. The petition reads;
That the House of Representatives investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable.
Right to Life encourages the Committee to take note in its considerations of the overwhelming international rejection by legislatures of legislation proposing to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide were rejected by the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom in 2014, the Irish Supreme Court in 2013, the United States Supreme Court in 2012 and the European Human Rights Court in 2015.
There are dozens of American states where such laws have been rejected and are still being rejected. There have been 120 euthanasia bills and referenda defeated in the United States.
There have also been nearly 40 failed bills in Australia in the last 20 years.
The Scottish Parliament has rejected two euthanasia bills, the first in 2010 was defeated 85 to 16. The second bill was in 2015 and defeated by 82 to 36.
In the UK six euthanasia bills have been defeated at Westminster. They were; Lord Joffe Bills of – 2003, 2004 and 2005. The ADTI Bill in 2006 – assisted dying only – defeated in the House of Lords by 148 to 100. The Coroners and Justice Bill 2009 and the Commission on Assisted Dying 2011.
Right to Life urges the Parliamentary Health Select Committee to recognise that to legislate to permit doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide, would endanger the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community, the aged, the disabled and the very ill, as a right to die would become a duty to die.
There are 193 member states of the United Nations and of these there are only four that have legalised doctor assisted suicide or allowed doctors to give patients a lethal injection for the purpose of killing. These are Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Colombia. In addition there are five states in the United States that allow euthanasia; Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Vermont and Montana. There have been an estimated 171 euthanasia bills defeated internationally. While the threat to the lives of vulnerable members of our communities is very real, there is a clear international consensus opposing euthanasia and in fact any proposed legislation to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
There are an estimated 189 nations where if a doctor gives a patient a lethal injection for the purpose of killing the patient, then that doctor is subject to the laws of homicide.
New Zealand must reject any proposed legislation to introduce the twin horrors of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.
Right to Life