Shared interest in End of Life Choice Bill brings Seymour and Nash together

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In an unusual move Act leader David Seymour has shared a video of Labour party MP Stuart Nash on his facebook page. It is a clever move as this bill will affect people equally no matter which side of the political spectrum they come from. We all are going to die one day and it is important to debate what level of control we or others are going to have over our death.

Not often you’ll see me sharing a Labour Party video but Stuart Nash is a top man around parliament. Here he is openly speaking to his Napier electorate about End of Life Choice and seeking feedback about my End of Life Choice Bill, which he says he will vote through to select committee for a fuller hearing. I wish that a number of other MPs would do democracy this way. For the record, I extensively canvassed people in Epsom and did a scientific survey of Epsom residents as well as consulting the ACT Party before putting the bill forward.

-David Seymour FB


The End of Life Choice Bill proposes that any New Zealand citizen or permanent resident 18 years or older will be eligible for ‘assisted dying’ if he or she suffers from:

  • a terminal illness or other medical condition that is likely to end his or her life within 6 months; or
  • a grievous and irremediable medical condition; and
  • is in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability;
  • experiences unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner that he or she considers tolerable; and
  • has the ability to understand the nature of assisted dying; and the consequences for him or her of assisted dying

-euthanasiadebate.org.nz

To find out in detail the arguments for and against the bill there are two New Zealand websites worth visiting.

David Seymour’s explanation for preparing the bill can be read in full on the www.lifechoice.org.nz   website which also contains articles in support of Euthanasia.

He states that his primary motivation for the Bill is compassion.

The intention of the Bill is to allow people with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” to obtain medical aid to die if they should so choose.

…The Bill offers choice that is currently prohibited, for those in our community who are grievously and irremediably ill and who wish to have the option, as they near life’s end, to choose the manner and timing of their final days.

The protections designed to avoid potential abuse are crucial, and would need to be fully examined before any final Bill was to return to the House…

-lifechoice.org.nz

Arguments against the bill can be found on euthanasiadebate.org.nz

 
The End of Life Choice Bill effectively proposes assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia on demand for anyone 18 years or older. Here are some reasons why:
 

  • There is no clear definition of ‘terminal illness’. It can be interpreted to include any condition that is life-shortening or life-threatening…
  • Depression can also be regarded as a terminal condition…
  • It’s impossible for doctors to accurately predict how long a person is expected to live, especially as long as six months out…
  • The phrase ‘irremediable medical condition’ is vague enough to include any condition that is not cured within an  expected time frame…
  • Words such as ‘grievous’, ‘unbearable suffering’ and ‘intolerable’ are entirely subjective (up to the individual to determine). If a patient would use any of these words to describe their condition, the doctor would not be able to argue.
  • ‘An advanced state of irreversible decline in capability’ is just a wordy way of saying ‘disability’ or ‘ageing’. The Bill doesn’t explain what is meant by ‘capability’. Could a person qualify who has become less able to run, walk, read, or enjoy life?
  • The End of Life Choice Bill doesn’t mention depression. Even if it did specifically exclude depression, depressed people could still access death instead of treatment under such legislation…

-euthanasiadebate.org.nz

The bill will not be passed before the election and now is the time for interested groups to present their arguments to parliament once the bill reaches the select committee to help decide whether or not it becomes law and part of our health system. Now is your chance to either try to stop the bill or to help re-write it.


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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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