Media Release 8 September 2022
Right to Life believes that it is an appalling scandal that it is necessary to have cake stalls and raffles to fund hospices providing an essential health service.
Right to Life believes that the government of Jacinda Ardern wishes to promote assisted suicide or a lethal injection as the preferred option for the terminally ill.
It achieves this objective by making the killing of patients a core health service and fully funded. On the other hand Hospices that provide palliative care are in a financial crisis. Palliative care is not a core health service, nor is it fully funded.
The government provides $88 million per year and it is scandalous that a further $87 million is raised with opportunity shops, cake stalls, raffles and donations. The government is aware that it is cheaper to provide a lethal injection to a patient or assist in their suicide than provide expensive palliative care.
Right to Life is disappointed in the response of the Ministry of Health to an Official Information Act request of 26th July.
Right to Life believes that the community have a right to know why vulnerable patients who were given a lethal injection or assisted in suicide chose not to receive or did not have access to palliative care.
The first annual report of the Registrar of Assisted Dying, Dr Kristin Good revealed that 80% of patients who were killed by their doctor were receiving palliative care.
In our Official Information Act request Right to Life asked:-
There were 20% of patients who did not have palliative care. How many patients did not request this care?
How many patients wanted palliative care, however it was not available?
With respect to the 80% of patients who were receiving palliative care at the time of their application for “Assisted dying” what was their reason for discontinuing with palliative care?
The Ministry advised that they do not collect this information. Right to Life believes that the requested information could easily be requested. It is critically important to confirm that palliative care is not available to some New Zealanders because they live in rural areas.
Right to Life believes that the government is not concerned that palliative care may not be available because of lack of funding or because of where the patient lives.
Right to Life believes that palliative care should be available for every New Zealander when they need it and has written to the Minister of Health requesting that hospices providing palliative care be fully funded and that these vital statistics be collected.
Right to Life NZ Inc.