Palliative care specialists reject End of Life Choice bill

Stuff co.nz 27 April 2018
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The medical specialists tasked with guiding us to death are unwilling to administer euthanasia.

Senior palliative care specialists gathered on Thursday to warn against the End of Life Choice Bill, currently being considered by a parliament Select Committee.

All rejected legalised euthanasia, feared patients might be coerced into death, and considered doctors and nurses ill-equipped to evaluate a person’s readiness to die.

Hibiscus Hospice palliative medicine specialist Professor Rod MacLeod said patients were prone to changing their mind.

“Almost always when people are asking for a quick way out, what they’re saying is: ‘I don’t want to live like this’.”

New Zealand’s palliative care – which ranks third in the world – was well designed for people with terminal cancer and neuro-muscular disorders, he said.

“There’s a large cohort of people who are dying of heart failure, respiratory disease, dementia – in particular – who don’t ever get referred to palliative care services.”

These people were most vulnerable to coercion from family to end their life, which was impossible to identify, he said.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/euthanasia-debate/103320307/palliative-care-specialists–reject-end-of-life-choice-bill
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