Media Release 24 April 2022
To protect our most vulnerable loved ones the government must impose a total prohibition on euthanasia and assisted suicide in aged care facilities. Administering a lethal injection or assisting in suicide is not health care and it has no place in a retirement home. Would you place your loved ones in a retirement home if you knew that that home allowed them to be killed at their facility? Right to Life has warned for years that the right to die will ultimately become a duty to die.
Right to Life believes that we have a duty to protect our vulnerable elderly in aged care facilities and those in dementia care, who are in dire peril of being given a lethal injection or assisted in their suicide, under the guise that this is health care.
The first Assisted Dying report from the Registrar of [Assisted Dying] for the period 7th November 2021 to 31st March 2022 revealed that 66 people had been killed during that period. 6% had been killed by a doctor in a Public Hospital, 4% in a hospice facility, 17% in aged care facilities and 73% in the person’s home or another private residence.
Right to Life is very concerned that twelve patients were killed in retirement homes. We are opposed to our loved ones in care becoming victims to a lethal injection or being assisted to commit suicide. Right to Life encourages the management of aged care facilities to protect the residents entrusted into their care by declaring their facilities euthanasia free.
There are 422 rest home villages in New Zealand with 47,249 elderly people in residence. It is estimated that this number will increase to 81,000 people in rest homes by 2033.
New Zealand already has a disturbing rate of elder abuse. Aged Concern believes that one in ten persons over the age of sixty-five are victims of elder abuse. Euthanasia is the ultimate form of elder abuse. In Holland 500 people are killed each year with a lethal injection, without their knowledge or consent.
The government supports doctors killing their patients or assisting in their suicide and is prepared to pay doctors up to $3,000 for each patient killed. It assures the community that the End of Life Choice Act 2019 is very safe and provides protection for patients. We should not be seduced by these assurances because overseas experience reveals that the law soon gets extended to include advance directives and the killing of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Overseas experience also shows that the mentally ill are now eligible for euthanasia. In the Netherlands last year, 116 persons were euthanised for reasons of mental illness.
There are currently an estimated 70,000 persons have dementia in New Zealand, with the number expected to rise to 170,000 by 2050, with the cost for their care totalling $5.9 billion. It was the Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion that stated in its report to Parliament in 1977:- “ that if we failed to recognise the humanity and right to life of the unborn child then a future government would deny the humanity of those at the other end of life.”
Right to Life warns our Parliament and government that if they continue to ignore this prophetic warning and continue to uphold the legal fiction in the Crimes Act, section 159 that states that the unborn child is not a human being until it is born, then a future government will adopt the fiction that a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s is no longer a human being, has forfeited their right to life and may be killed at the direction of the state with a lethal injection, all of course under the guise that it is a “health service”.
Right to Life