Maryan Street, president of the End of Life Choice Society previously named the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand Is promoting support for a binding referendum at the 2020 general election on the End of Life Choice bill [EOLCB] of David Seymour. This proposal is strongly opposed for the following reasons;
it would be a serious violation of Parliamentary democracy. It is the duty of the members of our Parliament to legislate for the protection of the lives of every member of our community, especially the most vulnerable and not to preside over our destruction. The right to life of every person from conception to natural death is protected in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It states in Article 3,” Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” It further states that our rights are universal and inalienable, being inalienable they may not be taken from us nor may we give them up. Our human rights are not conferred on us by the state, by Parliament or by the community, they are conferred on us at conception by our Creator. It is therefore contended that Parliament should not be giving any consideration to a bill that would allow doctors to decide who shall be allowed to live and who may have their lives terminated. Parliament therefore would be acting in dereliction of its duty by abdicating its responsibility to protect our right to life by imposing its responsibility on to the citizens of New Zealand.
A referendum is an important part of our Parliamentary democracy, it is suitable for such issues as changing the nations flag but totally unsuitable for issues of life and death such as the Seymour bill which if passed would allow doctors to kill “terminally ill patients” or assist in their suicide. The EOLCB is currently with the Justice Select Committee which is considering more than 35,000 written submissions and has also heard more than1,800 oral submissions. A careful analysis of the submissions is being conducted by Care Alliance and while not complete, it reveals that more than ninety per cent of submissions are opposed to euthanasia.
The Parliamentary Select Committee has received many expert submissions from the medical profession here in New Zealand and from overseas. Many of these submissions warn of the great dangers that would threaten the most vulnerable members of our community, the aged, the disabled and the seriously ill. The Committee will be reporting back to Parliament in March on the Committee’s recommendations concerning the amendment of the bill or its rejection. The bill will then have its second reading and if passed, it’s third reading to be passed into law. In a Parliamentary democracy we need to trust our Parliament to be fully informed on the implications of this bill and to vote in the best interests of the community. It would be most unwise to subject this contentious bill to an ill informed electorate in a binding referendum. It would also be unjust and immoral to compel Members of Parliament to vote to pass this bill against their conscience at a third reading to comply with the result of a binding referendum.
This bill is but a stepping stone to normalise suicide and the acceptance of a lethal injection to terminate the lives of those considered not worthy of life. A right to die would soon become a duty to die as it is more costly to care for a patient than to kill a patient. It would later extend to include children and those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia We can live without euthanasia.
Right to Life