Two polls strongly support euthanasia

Both One News and Three News have done polls on euthanasia with strong support for changing the law and allowing euthanasia.

One News/Colmar Brunton:

Should a patient should be able to request a doctor’s assistance to end their life?

  • Yes 75%
  • No 21%
  • Undecided 5%

1000 voters questioned

3 News/Reid Research

Should law be changed to allow “assisted dying” or euthanasia?

  • Yes 71%
  • No 24%
  • Unsure 5%

Patrick Gower asked John Key if the Government would heed public opinion and do something about it. Key said they wouldn’t, but if a well drafted Member’s Bill was put before parliament he said he would support it.

The chances of a Member’s Bill being drawn is low – ad at this stage there isn’t a Bill in the ballot anyway.

One News had a report with their poll result: Lecretia Seales’ widower praises Kiwis for poll showing support for doctor assisted euthanasia

Lecretia Seales’ widower Matt Vickers is welcoming a ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll which shows the majority of New Zealanders want dying patients to be able to rely on their doctor for help to end their lives.

“We’re glad to see that New Zealanders agree that it is appropriate, respectful and compassionate, and we hope that Parliament does their job and achieves legislative change that the majority of New Zealanders clearly want.”

“Through her High Court case, Lecretia hoped to raise awareness of the appropriateness of physician assisted dying legislation in some form,” he says.

The debate about euthanasia was back in the headlines last week when the results of a study of General Practitioners was released, showing some had made decisions likely to hasten the death of their terminally ill patients.

The study was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal and asked 650 GPs about the last death they’d attended.

There seems to be everything that’s needed except any political will to address euthanasia.

And Stuff reports: Doctors and nurses more involved in patients’ ‘end-of-life’ decisions – study

A University of Auckland study anonymously surveyed 650 GPs.

Sixteen reported prescribing, supplying or administering a drug with the explicit intention of bringing death about more quickly.

But in 15 of those cases, it was nurses who administered the drugs.

Researchers acknowledged the actions of the GPs would generally be understood as euthanasia, but the survey did not use that term.

In the survey, led by Auckland University senior lecturer Dr Phillipa Malpas, GPs were asked about the last death at which they were the attending doctor.

Of the 650 to respond, 359 (65.6 per cent) reported that they had made decisions, such as withdrawing treatment or alleviating pain, taking into account the probability that they may hasten death.

Some made explicit decisions about hastening death.

Of the 359, 16.2 per cent withheld treatments with the “explicit purpose of not prolonging life or hastening the end of life”.

A total of 316 doctors gave pain medication taking into account that death might come sooner, but it was not the intention. Rather, the doctor may have taken the decision to make the dying patient more comfortable in their final hours.

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  1. Brown

     /  27th July 2015

    Its typical survey though so is to be treated with suspicion. When they ask exactly what circumstances qualify you will get a more reliable answer as people will have to think about depression and other treatable mental conditions as opposed to the painful terminal illness that the poster people go on about.

    I always had a bridge jump planned, even selected and checked out. A long way down too. I didn’t need a friend with a needle to help but the depression passed and life became good again so I never did.

    • Any serious proposals that would allow euthanasia I’ve see would exclude people suffering from depression.

      Able bodied people with depression or some other problem that might lead to suicide can and do find ways of ending their own lives.

      Euthanasia is more likely to apply in circumstances where a dying person is unable to end their own life, so it’s sometimes referred to as assisted dying.

      • Renee

         /  27th July 2015

        Why would it exclude people suffering from depression? They could also feel they are suffering unbearably and could want to control the timing and manner of their deaths. If there is such a thing as a “right to die”, surely it would apply to everyone, regardless of health status.

        Even if depression is not one of the eligibility criteria, it would still be possible for depressed people to access euthanasia. First, there is no clear definition of “terminal illness”. Any condition that is life-shortening or that requires a person to take medication in order to stay alive, can be regarded terminal. That would include depression.

        Second, a depressed person could request euthanasia by using another condition as an excuse. Depression can be hidden, even from doctors.

        Third, depression can be regarded an “irreversible condition”, a phrase included in the One News poll as well as the petition to parliament. The Belgian euthanasia law also requires that a patient has an irreversible (incurable) condition. Laura, a 24-year-old depressed, but otherwise healthy Belgian woman, has been granted legal euthanasia. Her depression is regarded incurable because there is no treatment that she is willing to accept, She only wants death.

      • Renee

         /  27th July 2015

        No assisted dying legislation in the world is limited to people who are dying and unable to end their own lives.

  2. kiwi_guy

     /  28th July 2015

    There has been so much pro euthanasia propaganda in the media, so public opinion is basically rigged on this topic.

  3. Grumpy

     /  28th July 2015

    Don’t forget “loneliness”. That is allowed in Belgium and Netherlands among others. The “debate” needs to get honest, we only see the poster cases that garner the most sympathy.

    • kittycatkin

       /  29th July 2015

      I can’t see why lonely people can’t just DIY. It would be a huge disincentive to admit loneliness there. Patient: I like my new house, but I’m finding it a bit lonely living alone sice Piet died.’ Doctor: ‘Really ?’ (writes prescription) ‘Take this to the chemist.I haven’t bothered with the rest of your medications, you won’t be needing them now.’ Patient; ‘Oh, good…I’ll see you next month, then.’ Doctor ” Er, I think not. Goodbye.’

      Seriously, I have heard of this-it’s a very large red light.

      • Renee

         /  29th July 2015

        Good point. Why should a doctor help a person commit suicide, especially if the person is able to do so without help? It makes no sense.

  4. Brown

     /  28th July 2015

    Renee raises Belgium. Belgium is a good example of progressive slip. The law there says lots about how and to whom it should be done but somehow that doesn’t seem to dictate to how and to whom its actually done. It seems like the law is like the pirates code – more like guidelines that can be ignored when it suits.


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