Passing of assisted suicide and euthanasia Bill is an abject failure of sound governance by the New Zealand Parliament

 

PRESS RELEASE
Thursday 14 November 2019

 

Passing of assisted suicide and euthanasia Bill is an abject failure of sound governance by the New Zealand Parliament

 

Voice for Life is extremely dismayed and concerned about the passing of the assisted suicide and euthanasia Bill at last night’s third and final reading in Parliament.

As highlighted multiple times, by different MP’s who voted against this Bill; this Bill is simply not safe and the process that brought the Bill from the second to third reading was woefully deficient.

The many different supplementary order papers that were tabled in an effort to make this Bill safer and less likely to wrongfully kill vulnerable New Zealanders were voted down during that process.

That process was also marked by a noticeable absence of large numbers of MPs in the debating chamber when those vitally important supplementary order papers were being presented and explained.

Voice for Life commends the courageous MPs who voted against and spoke out last night against this extremely dangerous Bill.

Unlike the supporters of the assisted suicide and euthanasia Bill, the arguments they made were cogent and focused on the substantive flaws in the Bill.

Among others, these flaws include;

  • The fact that no independent witness are required at any stage of the process, including death.
  • The fact that a person does not need to be mentally competent when a lethal dose is administered to end their life.
  • There is no cooling off period, meaning a person could be killed or end their lives a mere 48 hours after the lethal dose has been prescribed.

Most alarmingly of all is the fact that the coercion protections in this Bill are so minimal that they will be practically ineffective under many common end of life scenarios.

Only the attending medical practitioner needs to check for coercion, they don’t need to speak with the patient face-to-face, they don’t need to have met or known the patient previously, and they can only speak to other family members that the patient will allow them to speak to.

The fact that the debating chamber was approximately half empty for most of last night’s third and final reading of this Bill is truly astounding.

That so many MP’s weren’t even present to participate in the third and final reading of one of the most serious Bills in our nation’s history – a Bill that will allow state sanctioned killing upon request – speaks volumes about the failures of sound and prudent governance that have surrounded this process.

ENDS

 

 

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