Do Bill English and Jacinda Ardern realise euthanasia (and suicide) is a conscience issue?

Jacinda Ardern is all snippy with Simon O’Connor for daring to challenge her with his own views…so is Bill English:

At a rally at parliament yesterday, Ms Ardern told the crowd that it was devastating that more than 600 New Zealanders killed themselves last year.

She also spoke of her best friend’s brother who took his own life when she was 13-years old.

In a post on Facebook last night, National’s Simon O’Connor – who opposes assisted dying – said it was “strange” that Ms Ardern was so concerned about youth suicide, but was happy to “encourage the suicide of the elderly, disabled and sick”.

Ms Ardern said while she respected the personal views of individual MPs on euthanasia, Mr O’Connor was wrong to confuse the issue of euthanasia with New Zealand’s suicide statistics.

“These are two very different issues that we’re debating and discussing,” she said.

“To compare [euthanasia] to suicide is wrong and I think probably those who are affected by it would think that was the case too.”

It isn’t wrong, it is a conscience issue and Simon O’Connor was expressing his personal views. Jacinda Ardern is just trying to shut down legitimate debate. I don’t agree with Simon O’Connor on either issue, but I defend his right to have his point of view.

Bill English is confused too.

National Party leader Bill English has distanced himself from Mr O’Connor’s comments.

Why? Simon O’Connor is a conservative Catholic, Bill English is supposed to be one too. I find it rather strange that Bill English would distance himself from views that are probably identical. Bill can only be doing that for political reasons.

Mr English said the two issues shouldn’t be linked and he had texted Mr O’Connor to tell him that.

They’re both serious issues, they’re dealt with in the parliament, euthanasia as a conscience issue and suicide I think is one that is dealt with very broadly by the political parties trying to find better policy solutions that will reduce the number of people who are badly affected by suicide,” he said.

“What’s important here is compassion for people who are vulnerable.”

If he knows they are conscience issues why is he insisting his MP apologise?

Mr English said he knew Mr O’Connor had strong views on euthanasia.

In a short statement, Mr O’Connor said this was a “conscience issue” and he had nothing further to add.

My understanding is Bill English asked him to retract his statement and apologise. O’Connor, to his credit, told English to piss off and that it was a conscience issue and he wouldn’t apologise for airing his own personal views.

Bill English is flat out wrong to demand O’Connor apologise. Jacinda Ardern is flat out wrong to say O’Connor is wrong too.

It is a conscience issue and something for which there are many opinions.

 

-Radio NZ

 


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