End of life choice unworkable
A reading of the EOLC Act quickly disabuses the notion that this legislation lives up to its name. Section 5 (2) a, b, and c, states that those who are only of an "advanced age", or have "a disability of any kind" or suffer from "any form of mental disorder or mental illness", are specifically excluded from access to euthanasia unless there is evidence of a terminal illness. Persons requesting euthanasia must also be mentally competent at the time of the request - but tellingly, not at the time of their death.
Since severe depression is a leading cause of self-death ideation throughout the world, this legislation will be unworkable for what its proponents intended - EOLC. The mental competency "safeguard" would need to be totally ignored.
Other omissions in the legislation include a lack of independent witnesses at any stage of the process for assisted dying and no statutory "cooling off" period following the application. There is no need for the medical practitioner to have any specialist knowledge of the terminal medical condition or be trained in assessing "mental competency".
Further, it is only the doctor's opinion that there has been no coercion or external pressure on the patient to seek assisted suicide. The attending doctor might only see the person once and the person's decision to die can totally exclude partners, family and friends from even seeing the person alive again. Legislation allows the lethal dose to be administered by a nurse practitioner, again, without any witnesses should the person change their mind.
Whilst the medical profession is held in high regard, our collective experience is that doctors are not infallible. This law is fatally flawed and places unconscionable demands on doctors and nurses. In my opinion, it will normalise suicide within our culture and has no place in our statutes.
St Johns Hill
Voters not idiots
Yes thanks, Carol I am aware of the difference between a Parliamentary Bill and an Act and the process (Letters, October 16).
In some small way I have been involved with this "process" going back to the days of Lesley Martin and Michael Laws.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
By the time this letter is published the "process" will be over ...
The personal satisfaction is the other camp have blown millions pushing their case left, right and centre and where did it get them? I also hope the lies will cost some MPs their seats, best to own up to your religion and cultural beliefs instead of hiding behind them. Don't treat voters as idiots, it will backfire. [Abridged]
St Johns Hill
To those who oppose the End of Life Choice Bill, from a moral or religious perspective, I suggest you consider what Michael Ignatieff says:
"There are few presumptions in human relations more dangerous than the idea that one knows what another human needs, better than they do themselves."
This bill is to allow CHOICE for anyone who may become eligible, NOT for anyone else.