Michelle Pereira of Glendene, Auckland, rattles on about lack of safeguards in the "Seymour Bill", wrong on two counts! First, it is not the "Seymour Bill"; second, there are safeguards in the bill to stop spinal cord injury patients from lining up to end their lives. But I suspect Ms Pereira knows that anyway.
As we head to the elections this year, expect more rubbish pushed into "community papers" by groups opposed to death with dignity. Their background will be either religion or culture with no respect for those terminally ill who must meet a very strict criteria to exit this world with dignity.
As a former ACC rehab officer (18 years), I'm shocked and appalled that a NZ psychiatrist and a NZ psychologist suggested a person should travel overseas to finish their life. Both need to be investigated for suggesting such action. If true, neither of these people could make a referral into the NZ system when it is set up for Claire Freeman.
When I was with ACC, auto suicide was a known form of trying to end one's life, but none I got involved with or heard about were carried out by terminally ill patients with weeks to live.
Most, if not all, were emotionally charged domestic situations gone wrong. Auto suicide was purely a way of making a suicide look like a motor vehicle accident to add misguided respectability and ACC coverage. Other forms of suicide were not covered by ACC (non accidental).
So, in fact, we have another case of scaremongering against the death with dignity cause. Have no doubt, the silent majority will prevail. It just hurts, the pain and stress that such letters will cause the terminally ill, distorting facts and scaremongering in the meantime. They need to grow up and smell the flowers.
St John's Hill
I wholeheartedly agree with Stephen Palmer's "Democracy in action" letter in today's Chronicle (December 20), but he fails to address two important issues.
First, it is becoming the norm in recent times for Ken Mair to cry "racist" at every opportunity, even though he himself is doing exactly the same but from the other viewpoint.
Second, complaining to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) because Hamish McDouall did not chastise Rob Vinsen for his observation about the word "repo". One has to be extremely thin-skinned to find insult in that instance, and complaining to the HRC is surely overkill.
Unfortunately, we now seem to be at the stage where people like Mair consider they and their kin have total rights over all matters and seem preoccupied with finding fault with everything that does not elevate Māori to a status superior to non-Māori. There is no place for this attitude in our city.
Your royalist correspondent Murray Shaw has got to be joking when he says ending the English queen's rule in New Zealand would be bad for democracy. It would, of course, be highly democratic to elect our own ceremonial leader.
As it stands, all New Zealanders are banned from being head of state because that is reserved for a hereditary billionaire on the other side of the planet. That is crazy, and it's about time we cut that last apron string of the colonising power.
Elizabeth II has done her job well and Charles has some interesting ideas, but spare us elbowing aside our own people to declare Charles III our king by birthright when his mother departs. He has no divine right or exemplary character to justify reigning over free New Zealanders.
Royalists living in the new full democracy could still welcome the head of the commonwealth on tours and collect their own English mug. I just don't want to be "ruled" by one.
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