Police raids on a group of elderly suspected to have illegally imported euthanasia drugs have raised questions over political motivation, ACT leader David Seymour says.
Two elderly Wellington woman were the subjects of a police raid earlier this month, and police have confirmed a Lower Hutt woman was arrested and faces two charges of importing a class C.
There are claims that “Operation Painter” was targeted at members of a global group called Exit International.
Euthanasia campaigner and Exit International director Philip Nitschke said the raids were “designed to intimidate and frighten”.
Seymour, who has a members bill in the ballot that would legalise euthanasia – has questioned whether police were acting on the tipoff of someone who was ideologically opposed.
He said it raised “serious questions” about police treatment of a politically sensitive issue.
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/85458603/act-leader-david-seymour-says-police-euthanasia-raids-politically-motivated
Elderly women in police euthanasia probe
NZ City 18 October 2016
Police have seized items from the homes of elderly women in Wellington and Nelson which has sparked criticism of political interference from a voluntary euthanasia group.
A shop-bought helium balloon kit was taken from 76-year-old Nelson woman Patsy McGrath, who has long campaigned for euthanasia, on Friday, the Voluntary Euthanasia Society says.
The balloon kit was seized because police believed it was “evidence in respect of a suspected crime: aiding and abetting suicide”.
“Neither NZ police nor NZ #euthanasia society get it – end of life choice is a right, not just a medical privilege!” he said.
ACT Party leader David Seymour has described the police action as gratuitous.
“Surely the police understand there’s a formal political process currently underway around the Voluntary Euthanasia Society’s petition?” he said.
“Even if it’s just one group that’s been targeted, there’s a concerning possibility that other assisted dying campaigners will feel intimidated, with less confidence to campaign publicly.”
Parliament’s health committee is hearing submissions on public attitudes to voluntary euthanasia.
However, Family First’s Bob McCoskrie says police are “absolutely correct” to shut down Exit International’s operations here.
“Nitschke promotes suicide, has left a trail of destruction, and is evidence of just how far some euthanasia advocates will take an assisted suicide law if it was ever introduced,” he said
READ MORE: http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=235330