Judith Collins: time for a serious discussion about euthanasia

Judith Collins has a column ?in?the?Sunday Star-Times that has made it to online.

She says?it is now time for a serious debate on euthanasia.

My dad died 20 years ago from cancer.? He’d kept working on the farm until he was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer about three weeks before he died, just short of his 76th birthday.

As soon as he was diagnosed with cancer, which his oncologist thought he’d had for years, he started saying goodbye. Every day, Dad dressed to receive his visitors as his surviving mates from the RSA came to say goodbye.

He made out that he’d finally given up smoking ? he hadn’t.? What was the point?

He conducted himself with all the dignity and courage I would expect.? I hope to do the same one day.? He made his death relatively easy for us.

Three weeks after his diagnosis, Dad’s body started to close down.? He collapsed at home and was taken by ambulance to hospital.? I’m told by one of my family that on arrival, Dad asked for morphine.? He was asked if he had pain.? He said, he just wanted morphine. We, his children, stayed with Dad.? The hospital gave him morphine.? He got more and more as the day and the night went on. He asked for it and the next day he died.

He’d seen a lot of death during World War II.? He wasn’t afraid of it but he would have hated losing his dignity. He died with his mind intact.

I watched my Mum guts it out…she was in pain but wouldn’t dare utter a murmur or a moan about it…but her last months weren’t particularly nice for her…and her last week was appalling. I’m not sure Mum would have taken the choice if she had the chance to, but she should have at least been able to have that choice.

I, like other Kiwis, watched as Lucretia Seales fought bravely in court for her right to die at a time of her choosing, with help from her GP.

Like many others, I wondered why it got this far. I wonder how many other Kiwis have died of a terminal illness and been helped – a lot – with morphine on their way out of this world.

Seales fought for the right to die without fear that her GP might be hauled before the courts because of her wishes.

In the past, Parliament has voted against voluntary euthanasia. Primarily, this is because the private member’s bills that have put it to Parliament have been full of holes and could have opened the elderly, in particular, to abuse.

Maybe it’s time for Parliament to revisit this with a carefully thought out bill that protects those doctors who carry out the well-considered wishes of their terminally ill patients.

Any such legislation should protect against any pressure brought on a terminally ill or disabled person. Many MPs rightly worry about the ill and aged believing themselves to be a burden on their families and feeling obliged to ask their doctors for help. Exactly who would be able to take this route or why are vexed questions.

Parliament has shown abject cowardice over the years. Judith explains why, but rather than fix silly bills, they simply put their head in the sand and voted down the bills.

By her sheer determination and courage, Seales showed ? it was her wish to pass when and how she wanted.? It’s very clear that no one was pressuring her. She made a plea for dignity and control over her own death.

In essence, the court was being asked to step in because Parliament feels as squeamish about this issue as it does about many other matters of conscience.

Time for politicians to man up. Enough with the members bills.

If we can vote for poofs to marry then surely we can address euthanasia easily. After all it is legal to kill children before they are born, what is with the squeamishness of checking out early those who desire it?

Matthew Hooton posted a possible solution on Facebook.

I think Justice Minister Amy Adams should get officials to draft a bill to legalise euthanasia, based on an already existing scheme in another first world country, and introduce it as a government Bill to avoid having a wait for a poorly drafted alternative to emerge from the member’s Bill ballot. After initial introduction for debate, hopefully unanimously, it would then make its way through parliament as a conscience issue.
If you agree, please “like” and “share”.
How about it Amy?
Pragmatic way forward?

Enough already…will the politicians please fix it.


– Fairfax, Facebook