Euthanasia update.

Since the campaign has not really started and my name is not out there

  1. Risky Law has a good resource page.
  2. Michael Cullen, a left activist loved by the progressives, is supporting the euthanasia act as he is facing the end of his life. He is high church Progressive, and anything he suggests is usually wrong. Worth noting that Farrar, on this as many other issues, acts as a good little progressive “conservative” and should be ignored

Some comments from others.

From a palliative care specialist.

In recent weeks there have been unsubstantiated claims in New Zealand media by pro-euthanasia, retired doctors or ‘veteran medical specialists’ around the End of Life Choice Act, which will be voted on during the upcoming referendum.

As specialist doctors trained in palliative medicine and currently practising in New Zealand, we’re extremely concerned at their argument in favour of euthanasia. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous.

First, they argue in favour of euthanasia because, in their words, palliative care has been “underfunded from the start and access and quality are patchy”. They say that aged residential staff “are overworked and often poorly trained in palliative care for the dying”. In other words, they want us to vote at the referendum in favour of euthanasia due to inadequacy and inequity of palliative care and inadequate aged residential care staffing.

This is a little like arguing that the car needs a clean so should be pushed off a cliff.

Sinead Donnelly

And from a woman who now has terminal cancer.

Many hundreds of Kiwi doctors want no part in assisted suicide, and believe that physician-assisted death is unethical and interferes with the doctor-patient relationship to the extent that it crosses a societal line. It seems to me we’re risking a great deal here.

This referendum is an opportunity for us collectively to address our fears and recognise we’re in a privileged position. Recently ranked third in the world after only UK and Australia, we’re close to being world leading in our palliative care. How about we demonstrate to the world our commitment to excellence in this area instead of avoiding the issue.

In this debate, much is being made of pain and suffering and the concept of compassion. Compassion is not the same as professional care. It may be easier to express compassion than to take the trouble to ask, listen, and understand. It may be that this ‘compassion’ is a short-cut, or an exit, enabling the ‘compassionate’ to avoid understanding and participating in the actual requirements of care.

True care is an active and open-ended embrace. It’s a human interaction that, if it truly supports the individual, runs beyond individual care professionals and the community of carers to the nation. I experience pain – physical, emotional, all sorts and depths of it – and I’m lucky to have around me professionals and others, concerned and qualified to help me manage each of these.

As my family and I face this disease together, we’re living in the embrace of the palliative expertise surrounding us. It’s a steady, reliable and caring source of support for us, a dedicated approach to meeting the needs of the whole person. I’m lucky – we’re all lucky – to have it.

Amanda Landers, Newsroom