Same old

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

In re­sponse to Ken Orr, don’t you ever get tired of re­gur­gi­tat­ing all these old in­valid ar­gu­ments and try­ing to dic­tate other peo­ple’s choices ac­cord­ing to your own per­sonal be­liefs?

Par­lia­ment’s main busi­ness is to rep­re­sent the pub­lic who vote them in, and see­ing as polls car­ried out over 20 years show a con­sis­tent sup­port for as­sisted dy­ing of around 70 per cent, then pass­ing this bill (with suf­fi­cient safe­guards — which this bill has) means they are do­ing their job.

On March 6, 2016, the NZ Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion re­leased a re­port which stated: ‘The com­mis­sion’s view is that the right to not be ar­bi­trar­ily de­prived of life does not di­rectly trans­late into an ab­so­lute pro­hi­bi­tion on Par­lia­ment im­ple­ment­ing a leg­isla­tive frame­work that would per­mit ter­mi­nally ill peo­ple to ob­tain as­sis­tance to end their lives.’ This was fol­lowed by a list of provos and safe­guards, which have all been in­cluded in the EOLCB.

I think per­haps you, ei­ther in­ten­tion­ally or through ig­no­rance, have to­tally mis­un­der­stood the pro­posed bill. You im­ply that it is the doc­tors who make the de­ci­sion I quote from your let­ter, “would al­low doc­tors to de­cide who shall be al­lowed to live and who may have their lives ter­mi­nated”. It is ac­tu­ally the pa­tient that chooses this, and the doc­tors then make sure that the pa­tient is el­i­gi­ble un­der the re­quired safe­guards.

The word you seem to miss is in the ti­tle of the bill — CHOICE.

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