Euthanasia needs considered study
Pondering the euthanasia debate has given me a lot of food for thought over the last few weeks. While I have the upmost admiration for the determination of Lecretia Seales, this is one of the hardest issues. At the same time I’ve supported a mother passing into a dark and irreversible part of her life and rooted for a grandson who has just had a very turbulent first few days. Ending life to me isn’t solely a matter of personal choice. While I would like that choice at some time in the future we need to reach a consensus collectively as a society about where we might allow individuals (or God help me their families) to make end of life decisions. Society plays a huge part in our lives. It guarantees a ‘social contract’ for things like public safety, ‘freedom’, health, employment and education that any government has to live up to if it wants to stay in office. It provides privileges for those of us who choose to be in business and, most importantly, it protects the most vulnerable among us like the very old and the very young. Society, in our laws, accepts some assisted ‘end of life’ situations like abortion and allowing individuals to decline treatment. Beyond that I don’t think we yet have a mature consensus around ‘how far might be too far’. Let’s not ask the law makers to get involved until we are clearer about the fine print.
● Duncan Field owns Limousine Services Queenstown, is a past chief executive of the Queenstown Lakes District Council and an occasional consultant.