Media Release 7 November 2020
Right to Life requests that the twenty District Health Boards in New Zealand follow the commendable example of the Gore Health Community Trust to protect the vulnerable by publicly refusing to have anything to do with providing their patients with euthanasia by lethal injection or assisting in their suicide.
There is no place for the euthanasia or assisted suicide of patients in our hospitals and hospices. Killing or assisting patients to die by suicide is not health care.
Right to Life also requests that the government does not direct DHBs to provide lethal injections and assisted suicide to patients in accordance with the End of Life Choice Act. The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern stated after the election that “she wants to govern on behalf of all” . Hopefully this includes protecting the vulnerable in our community, the aged, the disabled and the seriously ill from being killed by a doctor as normal health care and an “end of life choice”.
Right to Life commends the Gore Health Community Trust for affirming the sanctity of life and its commitment to providing quality palliative care for its patients.
Gore Health chief executive Karl Metzler, (Stuff – 6 November) states the vast majority of physicians are opposed to the End of Life Choice Act.
“None of them got into medicine to end lives,” he said.
Euthanasia is not a core health service and District Health Boards are not obliged to provide euthanasia. According to the Oregon experience, for the state to set up a national euthanasia system would be very expensive and would benefit only a small group of elite white people.
All of our District Health Boards are cash-strapped and are struggling to provide the services which they are required to provide in mental health, cancer treatment and in other areas of care.
It would be an intolerable burden on the community to impose this expensive and unnecessary euthanasia system for the termination of the lives of vulnerable patients.
Our palliative care services are world class, but they are underfunded. Currently only 1 in 3 New Zealanders who need palliative care in one of our 33 hospices has access to a hospice.
The state should concentrate on providing increased funding for palliative care and refrain from funding euthanasia. Our health funds should be used exclusively to promote a culture of life and not a culture of death.
Right to Life N.Z. Inc.