Euthana­sia con­cern

The Press - - Perspective -

Mike Yard­ley’s opin­ion piece (Dec 3) left me cold and frus­trated. The base line to David Sey­mour’s Bill is that if a loved one is dy­ing and is in un­re­lent­ing pain they will have the choice to seek re­lief in euthana­sia. Re­search proves that about 10-15 per cent of pa­tients in hospice care still suf­fer de­spite ac­cess to the best meds avail­able. Mike quotes the opin­ion of the Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents only a mi­nor­ity of doc­tors.

The as­so­ci­a­tion is soon to un­der­take a sur­vey of doc­tors to find out the ma­jor­ity’s opin­ion. Ac­cess to euthana­sia may be­come sim­i­lar to abor­tion in that for the dy­ing, there would be some where to go to ac­cess both pro­fes­sional coun­selling and the meds re­quired. The law would be clear. The pa­tients would have to have an in­cur­able med­i­cal con­di­tion that caused in­tol­er­a­ble suf­fer­ing. The pa­tient could judge when life wasn’t worth liv­ing. De­pend­ing on which sur­vey, be­tween 65 and 75 per cent of New Zealan­ders agree with an end of life choice. So do I. Clare Richards

Burn­side

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