A bet­ter op­tion

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

Ken Orr asks how the Prime Min­is­ter can on the one hand pro­vide $40 mil­lion for sui­cide pre­ven­tion, and on the other vote in sup­port of as­sisted dy­ing. Un­like Mr Orr, the Prime Min­is­ter can un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween a re­versible and an ir­re­versible sit­u­a­tion. The money will go to the re­versible sit­u­a­tion cat­e­gory.

Eight per cent of New Zealand’s sui­cides are com­mit­ted by peo­ple des­per­ate to es­cape ex­treme end-of-life suf­fer­ing. Given that even pal­lia­tive care can­not help this

cat­e­gory, and given that their sit­u­a­tion is ir­re­versible, as­sisted dy­ing could be a bet­ter op­tion for them than lonely sui­cide by crude, un­cer­tain means, or suf­fer­ing un­bear­ably right up to the bit­ter end. The Prime Min­is­ter wants to give them that choice. ANN DAVID


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