The Select Committee considering David Seymour’s assisted suicide bill have been unable to agree that the bill be passed, and warn that the bill is ‘not workable in its present state.
No real, substantive changes have been made to the bill – it’s still a mess. The Committee has made no judgement on the Bill, no indication of what substantive changes could make it better, but have simply left that up to the whole House, despite many MPs who voted for the bill in the 1st Reading saying that they would be waiting for the Committee to tell them how to make the bill better and safer before supporting it further. The message to these MPs is now clear – kill the bill.
ACT MP David Seymour’s significant backdowns on the bill last year also indicate just how weak and flawed the bill is. The backdowns are certainly in contrast to his earlier attacks, including his statements that There’s just so much scaremongering that doesn’t stand up to evidence and One of the biggest obstacles are MPs who are not in touch with their electorates…and also MPs who may have been coloured by some of the scare-mongering from the other side.
This Bill is just as much of a mess coming out of Committee as it was going in. The Committee was given 16 months to study the bill, hear submissions, and try to fix it. They simply couldn’t, because it’s a flawed, dangerous bill.
The Care Alliance analysis of the almost-39,000 submissions found that 91.8% were opposed to the Bill, but most importantly, 93.5% of submissions received from doctors, nurses and other health care staff were opposed.
Assisted suicide is not a simple yes / no answer. Those who have taken time to consider the consequences and implications of assisted suicide – and especially those in the health sector – have quickly realised its major dangers, especially to the vulnerable, elderly and disabled. This nuance is difficult to capture with a simple yes / no phone survey, sometimes with leading questions.