A press release from Voice for Life NZ
Wednesday 26 June 2019
Voice for Life NZ is extremely concerned about the outcome of tonight’s vote on the End of Life Choice Bill (EOLC Bill.) By voting it through its second reading, our Parliament has left vulnerable Kiwis in a perilous position.
This Bill will result in serious harms to terminal, elderly, and disabled New Zealanders if it is passed into law. The fact that our politicians have passed the Bill through another reading suggests that such risks are not being taken seriously enough by our MPs.
Laws are not supposed to be created to grant special choices to a privileged few, they are supposed to be about protecting the good of all, especially the most vulnerable members of our society.
Tonight, tens of thousands of vulnerable members of the New Zealand community were looking to Parliament to defend them from this dangerous Bill. Troublingly, their safety has been prioritised as being less important by the majority of our MPs.
These types of bills have failed in the vast majority of countries and jurisdictions who have been presented with them in recent years because of the harms that result from legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Our Parliament should have had the prudence to follow the lead of those other legislatures rather than endorsing this harmful Bill at its second reading.
They should also be listening to the one group of medical experts who work with death and dying more than any other, palliative care professionals, the vast majority of whom are opposed to legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia because it will create unnecessary dangers.
The Justice Select Committee investigating the EOLC Bill received a record 38,000 written submissions, 90% of which were opposed to it becoming law. The outcome of this vote shows that our MPs have also chosen to ignore this overwhelming public opposition to the Bill.
Caring Parliaments do not support dangerous Bills that will leave tens of thousands of their citizens at risk of wrongful death.
In order to ensure the best possible outcome for vulnerable Kiwis this Bill must be defeated, and our lawmakers must be spurred on to even stronger policy concern for the terminal, elderly, and disabled members of the New Zealand community.