Eu­thana­sia needs con­sid­ered study

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.