Five fantasies shared to scare

LETTER

Re: Quit vitriolic attacks — focus debate on euthanasia issues, January 7 letter.

Deborah Scott lists dangers of the End of Life Choice Bill. Could these be the same as the January 18 “Catholic News”: NZ Catholic bishops’ letter to all parishioners on the End of Life Choice Bill? This letter announces a “fact” sheet “being provided at Masses and available online, giving five reasons why legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide would be dangerous”.

These are just negative fantasies intended to scare the uninformed. In those jurisdictions which have conducted independent government-sponsored investigations into voluntary euthanasia, none of these negative outcomes have been found. Perhaps read the report of the Western Australian cross-party parliamentary inquiry which, in August 2018, recommended the introduction of legislation to allow assisted dying and voluntary euthanasia. To take just one of Ms Scott’s “dangers”: “Public submissions to the year-long inquiry included an unusual plea by the head of the WA Police Union to legalise assisted dying after figures showed a person with a terminal or debilitating illness takes their own life every nine days in the state (making up more than 10 percent of all suicides).” (Noted by Graham Adams, September 17, 2018).

So much for “undermining suicide prevention programmes”. The list goes on.

Dianne Cooper, Waikanae (ex Patutahi)

Re: Quit vitriolic attacks — focus debate on euthanasia issues, January 7 letter.

Deborah Scott lists dangers of the End of Life Choice Bill. Could these be the same as the January 18 “Catholic News”: NZ Catholic bishops’ letter to all parishioners on the End of Life Choice Bill? This letter announces a “fact” sheet “being provided at Masses and available online, giving five reasons why legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide would be dangerous”.

These are just negative fantasies intended to scare the uninformed. In those jurisdictions which have conducted independent government-sponsored investigations into voluntary euthanasia, none of these negative outcomes have been found. Perhaps read the report of the Western Australian cross-party parliamentary inquiry which, in August 2018, recommended the introduction of legislation to allow assisted dying and voluntary euthanasia. To take just one of Ms Scott’s “dangers”: “Public submissions to the year-long inquiry included an unusual plea by the head of the WA Police Union to legalise assisted dying after figures showed a person with a terminal or debilitating illness takes their own life every nine days in the state (making up more than 10 percent of all suicides).” (Noted by Graham Adams, September 17, 2018).

So much for “undermining suicide prevention programmes”. The list goes on.

Dianne Cooper, Waikanae (ex Patutahi)

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Martin Hanson - 2 months ago
Deborah Scott (Jan 7) says that personal choice or autonomy is "seldom thought through", comparing it to a patient who might wish to have his or her leg amputated.
If Ms Scott had in mind a rare mental condition in which the individual has an intense desire for amputation of a limb, then of course the doctor would be right to refuse to amputate because in his or her opinion the request would not be legitimate.
It should be obvious why cases like this have no relevance whatever to those in which a terminally ill person wants to die peacefully.
Unless, like the doctor, Ms Scott believes that a desire to end one's suffering by dying is not legitimate because only God can decide when one should die. Of course, I cannot know this; only Ms Scott can answer that one.

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