25 September 2016
Mr David Rutherford,
Human Rights Commissioner,
Dear Mr Rutherford
It is understood that the Commission made an oral submission to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee on Wednesday 21 September 2016. It is reported that the Commission’s chief legal advisor, Janet Anderson-Bidois said that it was neither a green light nor a red light. “It is very much an orange light. It is a proceed with caution if you can safely do so.”
I am writing to express our deep disappointment and grave concern at the stance taken by the Commission. The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, Article 3 states, Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. The preamble to the Declaration proclaims;-
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” The New Zealand Bill of Rights also upholds our right to life.
As our rights are both universal and inalienable, they may not be taken away from us, nor may we give them up. It is our belief that our human rights are conferred on us at conception by our Creator.
Right to Life believes that the submission of the Commission is predicated on the belief that our right to life is not inalienable and that Parliament has a right to amend the Crimes Act to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
Right to Life contends that the submission made by the Commission contravenes Article 3 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and violates the inalienable right to life of every member of our community.
The Commission’s submission raises several very important questions;
- Does the Commission accept that our human rights are conferred on us at conception by our Creator?
- Does the Commission accept that our right to life is inalienable?
- Does the Commission accept that our right to life is universal and that the most vulnerable members of our community, the aged, the disabled and the seriously ill, are endowed with human rights, the foundation right being a right to life?
- Does the Commission believe that it would be a violation of our human rights if Parliament amended the law to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide, i.e. for the strong to kill the weak?
In the defence of life and the common good Right to Life requests that the Commission make an urgent submission to Parliament defending our inalienable right to life and opposing a culture of death threatening our community under the guise of “death with dignity and medical aid in dying”