Never ‘acceptable practice’

LETTER

Re: Plenty of doctors willing to assist, January 4 letter.

In her attempt to justify the role of doctors as agents of euthanasia, Alida van der Velde has to stoop to making several illogical comparisons. She tries to equate medical procedures like IVF with assisted dying, conveniently ignoring the fact that the first is to support life while the second is to destroy life.

There is no way that the killing of a doctor’s patients will ever become “acceptable practice and part of modern medicine” as she claims. The fact a very small percentage of doctors overseas do take part in a practice which is the complete opposite of everything they have been trained to do, proves nothing.

The Nazi euthanasia programme would not have taken place without complicit doctors and scientists. That did not make it right.

David Seymour and his supporters have tried to build a case for assisted dying in this country based squarely on scaremongering around the dying process. The palliative care specialists on both sides of the Seales case agreed that all but a tiny fraction of people can have their pain controlled with the medication currently available. For these patients, fully reversible palliative sedation is available. With the rapid progress in developing further palliative care treatments, it is likely that soon even this tiny percentage will have all of their pain successfully controlled at the end without needing even the temporary use of palliative sedation.

The assisted dying lobby is in a race against time. Their arguments are already very flimsy and they are soon likely to disappear altogether.

Melissa Hardy, Auckland

Re: Plenty of doctors willing to assist, January 4 letter.

In her attempt to justify the role of doctors as agents of euthanasia, Alida van der Velde has to stoop to making several illogical comparisons. She tries to equate medical procedures like IVF with assisted dying, conveniently ignoring the fact that the first is to support life while the second is to destroy life.

There is no way that the killing of a doctor’s patients will ever become “acceptable practice and part of modern medicine” as she claims. The fact a very small percentage of doctors overseas do take part in a practice which is the complete opposite of everything they have been trained to do, proves nothing.

The Nazi euthanasia programme would not have taken place without complicit doctors and scientists. That did not make it right.

David Seymour and his supporters have tried to build a case for assisted dying in this country based squarely on scaremongering around the dying process. The palliative care specialists on both sides of the Seales case agreed that all but a tiny fraction of people can have their pain controlled with the medication currently available. For these patients, fully reversible palliative sedation is available. With the rapid progress in developing further palliative care treatments, it is likely that soon even this tiny percentage will have all of their pain successfully controlled at the end without needing even the temporary use of palliative sedation.

The assisted dying lobby is in a race against time. Their arguments are already very flimsy and they are soon likely to disappear altogether.

Melissa Hardy, Auckland

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Larissa Anne Meyer - 5 days ago
Kia Ora Melissa,

The definition of euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.

I may be wrong but my understanding was the Nazi doctors did not euthanise people, they murdered them. Those murdered by Nazi doctors were not sick, they did not give consent.

I don't think it helps the debate to conflate the war crimes of Nazi murderers with the current conversations about a person's right to choose the time and manner of their own passing.

Last year, in the Netherlands, the mother of a friend of mine chose to be euthanised. It must be legal there.
She was very old, had long found herself immobile and very sick, and she wanted to end her life on her own terms. She was of sound mind.
Her family were not that happy with her choice but respected her right to choose for herself as an adult. She passed away peacefully with all her family in attendance.
Not everyone is scared of death. It is just a part of life. I for one hope that if the need arises, I get to choose for myself. I don't want to linger in pain, to suffer or put my family through needless stress and hardship. I see no problem with having the right to decide for oneself.

Martin Hanson, Nelson - 5 days ago
Like any humane person, Larissa Meyer takes the view that one should be able to avoid pain and suffering near life's end by taking the initiative and deciding for oneself. But there are some people who take the view that one's life belongs to God and that it is a sin to foreshorten life, to avoid suffering, because this is "self-murder".
Ms Hardy is welcome to her view, but the rest of us resent being forced by law to abide by such a deeply inhumane, medieval doctrine.

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