End of Life Choice Bill has few takers says Report

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Auckland, March 30, 2019

A doctor holding the hands of a patient: (Source: New Parliament iStock)

More than 90% of record number of submissions oppose End of Life Choice Bill.

Analysis of 38,707 submissions to the Justice Select Committee shows that 34,932 (90.2%) opposed David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill, while just 3141 (8.1%) were in support.  

The remaining 634 (1.7%) were either neutral or their position was unclear.

Unique Submissions

Releasing the analysis today, Peter Thirkell, Secretary of the Care Alliance, said that the 38,707 submissions were a record for any bill before the House, “and critically they were unique rather than ’postcard’ or ‘form’ submissions.”

 

Care Alliance volunteers read every submission to record views on the bill, the length of the submission, and whether or not religious arguments were used by the submitter.

Dr Thirkell said that while the Care Alliance never argues this issue from a faith perspective it respects the right of any New Zealander to do so, for or against, if they wish.  

 

“In the event, more than 90.5 percent of all submissions made no reference to religious arguments,” he said.

Among the Members of the Care Alliance are The Australian & New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine; Christian Medical Fellowship; Euthanasia-Free NZ; Family First New Zealand; Hospice New Zealand; New Zealand Health Professionals Alliance; Lutherans for Life; The Nathaniel Centre; Not Dead Yet Aotearoa; Pacific Leaders Forum; Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand; The Salvation Army of New Zealand.

Dr Thirkell said that the number of submissions, and the proportion opposing euthanasia, significantly exceeded the 2017 Health Select Committee investigation (21,277 and 77% respectively).

Select Committee Voting

“We note that six of the eight members of the Health Select Committee went on to vote against the End of Life Choice bill at First Reading. Clearly, they had listened carefully to the evidence, and voted accordingly.  We hope that the members of the Justice Select Committee will demonstrate a similar respect for the mountain of evidence showing that legalising euthanasia is unnecessary, unwise and dangerous.”

ACT Leader David Seymour disagrees in our next report. 

 

 

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