Paul Little's optimism (June 30) for the End of Life Choice Bill shows how blind he and other supporters are to the elephant in the room. David Seymour's bill does no more than provide a behavioural framework for a doctor, which will hopefully satisfy the coroner, in the event that the doctor performs an illegal act.
Similar law in other jurisdictions has been shown not to protect the responsible doctor from being legally challenged by disgruntled family.
Don't misunderstand me, I am convinced we should have optimal law that can assist the free will of a suffering dying person.
This current regrettable situation exists despite the fact that the health select committee was presented with at least two, that I know of, very well informed, positive, practical, submissions detailing method for a court-administered End of Life Choice law. A law that would settle the moral hazard of requesting assistance-to-die squarely on the applicant, with the ethical hazard of permitting such an act to be firmly settled on the court. Not the physician, as it is with Seymour's bill.
Dr Anthony Atkinson, Okiato
Right to peaceful death
Four rousing cheers for Paul Little's article, claiming our right to choose a peaceful and stress-free death. As he points out, we should not have to make a case for the avoidance of unnecessary suffering; those in opposition to this concept should have to convince us otherwise.
Behind a mask of spurious misinformation, the Catholic Church and other religious lobby groups want to foist their medieval values on the rest of us.
Patricia Butler, Nelson
Experience of ministers
Heather du Plessis-Allan (June 30) describes correctly the inexperience of our government ministers and the lack of mettle of our Prime Minister. As far as Phil Twyford is concerned, the PM treats him with kid gloves because he is a personal friend and one of her inner circle. Heather does, however, highlight the fact there is not exactly a lot of choice among Labour's ranks through inexperience and even, dare I say, inability. This observation strikes at the heart of our democratic system — are we happy with the qualifications and/or experience of our parliamentarians, when half are list MPs?
Steve Clerk, Meadowbank
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Righting the ship
Jacinda Ardern is attempting to rediscover what New Zealand stands for. In the nine years prior to her ascension there wasn't a single person in the National Government with the backbone to do anything like what we've seen Jacinda do in the past two years. The mess she is mopping up now is appalling and it will take more than one term of government to right this ship.
Our hospitals are rotting, our education system is failing, our justice system is antiquated but all the while the upper end of New Zealand society has reaped the rewards of globalisation, capital gains and a fear that's kept workers in this country quiet for fear they will lose their last $20.
Chris Graham, Westmere
The Muldoon era
Let's not forget how bad things were under Robert Muldoon's National Government. The dictator lost the confidence of his ministers, who feared him.
Jacinda, you are doing a great job!
Dennis Pahl, Tauranga
Transport reality check
With the delays and cancellations Auckland rail commuters are facing every weekday due to the poor condition of the tracks, Auckland Transport and Transdev need to stop putting the blame squarely on KiwiRail and take some share of the blame themselves.
With ongoing increases to the timetable, particularly with running later into the evening, KiwiRail has been left with very little time to carry out its maintenance work.
Auckland Transport and Transdev need to take a reality check and decide whether running near-empty trains late at night to cater for a handful of people is worth it at the expense of inconveniencing thousands of people with unreliable timetables during the day.
Thomas Gray, Dannemora