Right to Life New Zealand Seeks Informed Debate on Euthanasia Referendum

By Ken Orr, Spokesperson

Editor’s note. This is adapted from a media release distributed July 25 by Right to Life New Zealand.

Right to Life New Zealand commends David Seymour, the architect and sponsor of the “End of Life Choice Act,” for insisting that the public be given accurate information on the purpose of his legislation.

Right to Life supports David Seymour in his desire to ensure that voters are fully informed on the legislation that will empower doctors to give a lethal injection to their patients or assist in their suicide. However, he stated on TVNZ One News on July 21st his concern that there was a danger that what he (wrongly) considered inaccurate important questions in a recent poll by Horizon could misinform the electorate.

Right to Life believes that David Seymour would be greatly distressed to learn that a poll conducted by Curia marketing in 2017 found that the majority of respondents thought that the End of Life Choice Bill would provide options that were already legal. …

The End of Life Choice Act is NOT about, nor does it make legal the action of turning off life support, to make a ‘do not resuscitate request (no CPR), or to stop medical treatment. All of these end of life choices are already legal, are not euthanasia and this new law, if passed, will not change these actions.

The End of Life Choice Act is NOT about pain relief. It’s already legal for a doctor to give a person enough medication to address their pain and make them comfortable, even if this may hasten their death as a side effect as the doctor seeks to neither hasten or cause the death of his patient.

This poll demonstrates that the public is not yet aware of the content and meaning of the End of Life Choice Act. We believe that in order to have a fully informed public referendum on this critical issue of allowing doctors to give patients a lethal injection or to assist in their suicide, it is essential that the above information be widely publicised by the media and shown on the government referendum web site.

Right to Life believes that David Seymour, who is a passionate advocate for choice, has a serious duty to the community to make a public statement to the media confirming that the End of Life Choice Act does not provide any of the above options. We believe that David Seymour would be greatly distressed if voters voted Yes for the euthanasia referendum in the mistaken belief that the legislation provided for the above options which are already ethical, legal, and have been available for many years.

Right to Life requests that the media, which are at the service of the community seek from David Seymour his confirmation that the above options are not provided for in the End of Life Choice Act