Heal­ers or killers?

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

The se­cond read­ing of the End of Life Choice bill in May will present Par­lia­ment with a clear choice to either de­fend the ethics of the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion or to change those ethics to al­low doc­tors to kill their pa­tients, or as­sist in their sui­cide.

Should Par­lia­ment pass the EOLCB, it will ul­ti­mately clas­sify cer­tain per­sons as hav­ing lives not wor­thy of life. Those per­sons may then be killed. with the per­mis­sion of the state. This same state will fund the killing as a ‘health ser­vice,’ and al­low for their lives to be ter­mi­nated in pub­lic hos­pi­tals.

This Bill will em­power a doc­tor to de­prive a pa­tient of their life with­out the knowl­edge of the pa­tient’s fam­ily. The Bill obliges the doc­tor to falsely record the un­der­ly­ing con­di­tion as the cause of death on the pa­tient’s death cer­tifi­cate.

While the doc­tor is then ob­li­gated to re­port the death as a eu­thana­sia or as­sisted sui­cide death, we know from over­seas ex­pe­ri­ence that eu­thana­sia deaths are con­sid­er­ably be­ing un­der­re­ported. The doc­tor’s ac­tion in killing the pa­tient, or as­sist­ing in the pa­tient’s sui­cide, re­lies solely on the doc­tor’s sel­f­re­port­ing.

For 2400 years the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion has up­held the Hip­po­cratic tra­di­tion to do

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