Culture of death promoted with campaign of misinformation

Ken Orr, Right to Life spokesman

COLUMN

Re: Religious ‘filter’ keeps evidence at bay, April 9 column.

Martin Hanson continues to promote the End of Life Choice bill of David Seymour as the holy grail of medicine with a campaign of misinformation. He seeks to discredit and dismiss those who speak up in defence of the right to life of the most vulnerable members in the community — the aged, the disabled and the seriously ill. It is simply outrageous that he should claim that those organisations opposed to the killing of patients with a lethal injection or assistance in their suicide are conducting a campaign of “fear, uncertainty and doubt from an anti-assistant dying lobby spouting mistruths about the bill”.

Who then comprise this lobby group that is misleading the community with “fear uncertainty and doubt”? They are the World Medical Association which represents 10 million registered medical practitioners, the New Zealand Medical Association which represents 5000 medical practitioners, the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners with more than 4800 members, the Australian & NZ Society of Palliative Medicine, the NZ Nurses’ Organisation and Palliative Care Nurses, all of whom wish to uphold their ethics to cure and not to kill.

These organisations are totally opposed to changing the law and medical ethics to allow doctors to become killers. These organisations are dedicated to providing ethical and lawful medical care for our community. They realise fully that perverting medical practice to allow doctors to cross the threshold of caring to killing would cause the destruction of the medical profession and the end of ethical care which respects the inalienable right to life of every individual.

It is sheer arrogance for Mr Hanson to dismiss these medical bodies and ask the community to listen to him because he knows better.

He seeks to discredit many of the submissions to the Justice Select Committee by repeating the unsubstantiated claim of Mr Seymour that many were made by persons who had the fear of God put into them. This claim is outrageous. How does he know? He has not read the submissions — this is wild, ill-informed speculation.

This is a human rights issue, the foundation right is our right to life, and our human rights are both universal and inalienable. We are endowed with our human rights at conception. Euthanasia is also a violation of God’s fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. The commandments are written on to the hearts of man, believers and non-believers. We disobey it at our peril. Only a fool says there is no God.

The writer claims the pamphlet available at St Mary’s Cathedral was misleading, by stating people will fear being euthanasied without being asked. The data from the 2015 study concerning ending-of-life decisions in the Netherlands challenges that assertion. In 2015 there were 7254 assisted deaths (6672 euthanasia deaths, 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 termination of life without request) and 18,213 deaths where the medical decisions were intended to bring about death. According to the Netherlands 2015 official euthanasia report there were 5561 reported assisted deaths in 2015 and yet the data from the study indicates there were 7254 assisted deaths. Therefore, there were 1693 unreported assisted deaths (approximately 23 percent). The 431 terminations of life without explicit request was up from 310 in 2010.

Mr Hanson also claims without any evidence that euthanasia is not a threat to the elderly by coercion. Aged Concern has warned that the elderly will suffer increased abuse and coercion if this contentious bill is passed.

Re: Religious ‘filter’ keeps evidence at bay, April 9 column.

Martin Hanson continues to promote the End of Life Choice bill of David Seymour as the holy grail of medicine with a campaign of misinformation. He seeks to discredit and dismiss those who speak up in defence of the right to life of the most vulnerable members in the community — the aged, the disabled and the seriously ill. It is simply outrageous that he should claim that those organisations opposed to the killing of patients with a lethal injection or assistance in their suicide are conducting a campaign of “fear, uncertainty and doubt from an anti-assistant dying lobby spouting mistruths about the bill”.

Who then comprise this lobby group that is misleading the community with “fear uncertainty and doubt”? They are the World Medical Association which represents 10 million registered medical practitioners, the New Zealand Medical Association which represents 5000 medical practitioners, the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners with more than 4800 members, the Australian & NZ Society of Palliative Medicine, the NZ Nurses’ Organisation and Palliative Care Nurses, all of whom wish to uphold their ethics to cure and not to kill.

These organisations are totally opposed to changing the law and medical ethics to allow doctors to become killers. These organisations are dedicated to providing ethical and lawful medical care for our community. They realise fully that perverting medical practice to allow doctors to cross the threshold of caring to killing would cause the destruction of the medical profession and the end of ethical care which respects the inalienable right to life of every individual.

It is sheer arrogance for Mr Hanson to dismiss these medical bodies and ask the community to listen to him because he knows better.

He seeks to discredit many of the submissions to the Justice Select Committee by repeating the unsubstantiated claim of Mr Seymour that many were made by persons who had the fear of God put into them. This claim is outrageous. How does he know? He has not read the submissions — this is wild, ill-informed speculation.

This is a human rights issue, the foundation right is our right to life, and our human rights are both universal and inalienable. We are endowed with our human rights at conception. Euthanasia is also a violation of God’s fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. The commandments are written on to the hearts of man, believers and non-believers. We disobey it at our peril. Only a fool says there is no God.

The writer claims the pamphlet available at St Mary’s Cathedral was misleading, by stating people will fear being euthanasied without being asked. The data from the 2015 study concerning ending-of-life decisions in the Netherlands challenges that assertion. In 2015 there were 7254 assisted deaths (6672 euthanasia deaths, 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 termination of life without request) and 18,213 deaths where the medical decisions were intended to bring about death. According to the Netherlands 2015 official euthanasia report there were 5561 reported assisted deaths in 2015 and yet the data from the study indicates there were 7254 assisted deaths. Therefore, there were 1693 unreported assisted deaths (approximately 23 percent). The 431 terminations of life without explicit request was up from 310 in 2010.

Mr Hanson also claims without any evidence that euthanasia is not a threat to the elderly by coercion. Aged Concern has warned that the elderly will suffer increased abuse and coercion if this contentious bill is passed.

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