Stuff co.nz 27 December 2017
It is likely New Zealanders will be asked to vote in the next three years in a referendum on assisted suicide, or the End of Life Choice Bill. There is a danger that, having been inundated with stories of loved ones dying in lingering pain, the normally empathetic Kiwi public will end up voting on this issue with their hearts, and not their heads.
I will be voting against this bill in any referendum for four reasons.
1. People change their minds.
About four years ago my wife was diagnosed with a non-cancerous lung disease. A year later she was admitted to intensive care suffering from a spontaneous respiratory arrest caused by the disease.
Given only a 50/50 chance of recovery on admission, she was asked if she wanted to be resuscitated in the event of death. Her reply was “Why would I want to come back to this hell?” – so a Do Not Resuscitate order was instated.
2. Doctors are not always right.
In early 2017 my wife received a double lung transplant. Her recovery was not straightforward.
On day 10 she had developed respirator acquired pneumonia. Doctors were hopeful for her recovery, but warned me that because her immune system was being suppressed (to prevent rejection of the new lungs), it was not certain.
3. There will be some who will exploit those who choose to die early.
Given the strength of social and mainstream media, there is a risk innocent people will find themselves publicly at the centre of assisted suicide decisions.
Even if current legal protections of privacy are strengthened in the passing of a new bill, it’s likely that family members who disagree with a relative’s decision to die will be ‘outed’, and potentially vilified by pro-euthanasia activists.
Is this fair? Especially if these people are recovering from the loss of a loved one?
4. The thin end of the wedge.
In Europe, it’s claimed there are already moves in place to extend the qualification for assisted suicide. At the moment, the patient must be suffering from a painful, terminal illness – but it may be that a simple “I can’t take life any longer” situation will soon be qualification enough.
Should these European countries go so far as to enact these extensions to their voluntary euthanasia laws, where will it lead? And will New Zealand follow?
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/100188136/my-wife-reversed-her-do-not-resuscitate-order–i-cant-support-euthanasia