Firstly, Kevin at Other McCain needs some help. He has health issues.
For those that don’t know, Kevin has been a large part of the success of this humble site. A few months after I began I approached Kevin to get on the almost daily link posts at The Other McCain. It was cheeky, I admit, but I ran with the line that their site could benefit from an Aussie connection.
Sometimes cheekiness pays off. Because of that exposure my site went from strength to strength and I formed other valuable contacts and even friendships through that network.
On a more distressing note, Parliament in NZ has just decided that euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal, without safeguards for consent, without witnesses, without regulations on recording, but with a binding referendum to confirm this. That has risks.
Bagshaw, who is chair of the Canterbury Charity Hospital but was speaking on behalf of himself, said he could not support any version of the bill.
If terminally-ill people were deteriorating, there were ways to keep them comfortable and without distress, and to ease their death.
Bagshaw said it could be done by experts but it was “somewhat costly”, although the Government could afford it. Palliative services should be available to anyone who needed them, he said.
He was concerned about a condition of the bill that said only those with “a terminal illness that is likely to end the person’s life within six months” would be able to ask for access to assisted dying, as it was “almost an impossibility to say with any degree of certainty” how long someone who was terminally ill had to live.
Bagshaw also raised concerns about the bill going to public referendum. He said the issue was complicated and thought “pressure groups” on both sides would promote it as more simple than it was.
“They [the public] will hear both sides from two groups, both of whom have strong views and will put those views across in a powerful way, and I think it will be very difficult for most people to discern what is the common sense way out of what is in fact a difficult situation.”
We witnessed the debate. Many concerns were raised. They were ignored. I fear for my country.