Eu­thana­sia

Kapiti News - - Letters To The Editor -

Dianne Cooper’s let­ter (Speak up now, Sept 26) re­minded me that Sean Dav­i­son’s can­cer-stricken mother was her­self a doc­tor. She’d have known that it is per­fectly le­gal to starve and de­hy­drate one­self to death in a hos­pi­tal, rest home or hos­pice given the right cir­cum­stances (and she’d have met all the cri­te­ria) but I sup­pose, poor lady, that she wanted to die at home as most of us do. Pro­fes­sional care might have soft­ened the ter­rors of death by self-star­va­tion.

We all have rights un­der the Code of Health and Dis­abil­ity Con­sumers’ Rights to refuse ser­vices and/or to with­draw per­mis­sion for ser­vices com­menced (Right 7, Point 7). Please Google to con­firm.

This in­cludes the right to refuse food and wa­ter un­der neart­er­mi­nal cir­cum­stances. Doc­tors won’t spell this out to you; they’re too afraid that some “con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tor” might leap upon them and ac­cuse them of “mur­der” or some such thing. Bet­ter still, in­stead of that grim death, Sean Dav­i­son’s mother could have had a lu­cid, peace­ful, even a beau­ti­ful death if she’d been a ci­ti­zen of one of the grow­ing num­ber of coun­tries that has le­galised vol­un­tary eu­thana­sia. She’d have been in con­trol.

Alas, she was a ci­ti­zen of New Zealand. ANN DAVID WAIKANAE

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