Health select committee agrees to euthanasia inquiry

In response to a petition presented to Parliament by the Voluntary Euthanasia  the Health Select Committee has agreed to investigate matters raised by the petition.

NZ Herald reports: Parliament to hold euthanasia inquiry following Lecretia Seales’ death

An inquiry into voluntary euthanasia is to be carried out by Parliament – a process supporters hope will be an important step towards a law change.

Today’s announcement comes after a petition from the Voluntary Euthanasia Society was presented to Parliament by supporters including Matt Vickers, the husband of the late Lecretia Seales.

The petition, signed by former Labour MP Maryan Street and 8,974 others, asked that Parliament’s health and select committee “investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable”.

It will set-up an inquiry to “fully investigate the matters raised by the petition”, health committee chair Simon O’Connor said.

The terms of reference will be drafted over the next few weeks, which will form the outline of that investigation.

“This is an important subject and the committee needs to think carefully about the best way to examine it,” Mr O’Connor said.

“I would like to see a thorough investigation that covers as many aspects of this topic as possible in a responsible and robust manner.”

It’s impossible to know where this may lead, if anywhere, but i think it’s time Parliament properly and comprehensively looked at the pros and cons of voluntary euthanasia, the right to choose how we die etc.

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3 Comments

  1. I am not a supporter of Right to Die, I’m a fence sitter at the moment with maybe a slight lean towards pro. I do want the debate to happen openly and freely.

    I have watched both my parents die from cancer. My mum nursed my dad, then when mums turn came I looked after her with the final few months being a 24/7 thing with some support from siblings to give me some breaks and the regular visits of hospice nurses being brilliant.

    Those experiences have me seeing both sides of this debate.

    I have no problems with someone in their right mind making a conscious choice to end the suffering if that is their will. I wouldn’t do it myself, but individual choice is something I support as a general principle

    But I really worry about undue pressure scenarios – where people feel they should end it only because their nearest and dearest are pressing them. Also scenarios where no clear and unequivocal understanding of a persons wishes are known and family members make the choice

    The discussions around safeguards, informed consent and also around actually monitoring & controlling the nurse/doctor who unilaterally decides to overdose a “suffering” person without their consent need to have real depth in my view.

    And any legislation should be given final legal power following a referendum in my opinion. I am not comfortable with this being left to 120 odd people in parliament to decide

    Reply
  2. Great news..
    we don’t expect our sick animals to suffer unnecassarily, why should we expect our family member to ? :/

    Reply
  3. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201763692/what-do-doctors-do-when-faced-with-patients-who-are-dying

    Maybe of interest to you Pete you your irregularly posts on the topic…. discussion with one of the authors of research paper based on a survey of GPs on the GPs end of life medical decisions

    Reply

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