74% poll support for euthanasia

Colmar Brunton’s latest poll included a question about support of euthanasia.

Asked do they think a terminally ill person should be able to receive assistance from a doctor to end their life:

  • Yes 74%
  • No 18%

This is similar to previous polls, and is a strong reason why Parliament should debate the member’s bill drawn recently.

1 News:  Poll support for euthanasia a wake-up call for undecided MPs says Seymour

ACT leader David Seymour says a 1 NEWS Colmar  Brunton poll showing three quarters of respondents support voluntary euthanasia should be a wake-up call for MPs undecided about his assisted dying bill.

MPs will vote soon after the September election on Mr Seymour’s End of Life Choice bill.

Most parties will have a conscience vote and a number of MPs are yet to make up their minds.

“Too many MPs have ignored public opinion and in a democracy you do that at your peril,” Mr Seymour said.

However…

…anti-euthanasia campaigner Renee Joubert of Euthanasia-Free NZ says poll respondents “were not asked to consider the practical implications in the real world of dysfunctional relationships, domestic and elder abuse, mental health issues”.

That’s the sort of things that Parliament should debate and seek input from the public on.

I support the freedom to choose what to do with one’s own life and death so support euthanasia in general, and I strongly support Seymour’s bill passing it’s first reading so it can be properly debated in Parliament.

There are important details and safeguards to work out so I can’t say whether I would support the bill passing into law without seeing it’s final form.

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18 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  July 15, 2017

    about the same level of support for cannabis reform ? that Natz are also ignoring (at least in the media). More proof they are just a ‘populist centre party’ rather than truely ‘of the right’.

    Mr S said ‘Natz campaign on the right, but really govern on the left’ 😀
    totally misleading the ‘I’m with the winners crowd’.. a bunch of fooled losers

    Reply
  2. Anyone who thinks that euthanasia seems a good idea should study very carefully how it is working in Holland and Belgium; and the direction it is taking there. As Renee Joubert notes, euthanasia is fraught with a huge, and deeply complex web of social, psychological, cultural, spiritual and moral issues that go way beyond a simple matter of having the “freedom to choose what to do with one’s own life and death”.

    As many are finding in those European countries, it is a very slippery slope to embark on, and the potential for abuse is frightening. Those who want to look into it should consult not MPs – who almost certainly have little understanding of the momentous implications – but rather hospice doctors and nurses, who deal with those implications, and the usually frail human people involved, on an almost daily basis.

    Good hospice care is increasingly resolving the problems that cause folk to consider euthanasia, making the process of dying ever more comfortable, even rewarding, for both the patients and their families. It is no longer an assumed matter of a painless death being preferable to a painful dying. Perhaps the effort, and money being put into the campaign for euthanasia might be more constructively put into a campaign for the hospice movement.

    The oft-heard comment that “you wouldn’t let a dog live like that” studiously ignores the fact that sick dogs tend to be put down to avoid the vet’s bills and the mess on the carpet. It is not hard to envisage the ‘mercy killing’ of people leading to much the same, peddled under a similarly emotive guise. There are better ways to address the issue of painful death.

    Reply
    • How it is working in other countries should certainly be looked at when considering euthanasia for new Zealand.

      Hospice here can certainly be very good but in my experience it can have it’s drawbacks. And it excludes freedom of choice on how one dies.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 16, 2017

        The oft-heard comment that “you wouldn’t let a dog live like that” studiously ignores the fact that sick dogs tend to be put down to avoid the vet’s bills and the mess on the carpet. It is not hard to envisage the ‘mercy killing’ of people leading to much the same, peddled under a similarly emotive guise. There are better ways to address the issue of painful death.

        The sick dogs bit – no, they don’t all get put down because they’re inovenient. No two people are the same. But you can categorise them into predominant personality types in a lot of situations. There are cetainly people who will put a sick dog down as a straight, unemotional, calculated, clinical decision. The type who always see issues in black & white, and tend to be predominantly unemotional, not really concerned with how other people feel.

        And there are others who are highly empathetic. They’ll bond deeply with their pets. No two dogs or cats – or, as I’m discovering, pukekos or mallard ducks are the same. They can read how their pet is feeling. They’ll find the money to pay for expensive treatments to keep their pet alive for as long as possible. But they’ll know when their dog, or their cat, or other pet has had enuff. It’s miserable. It’s in pain. It’ll give them signs, a look, a whimper, something that tells them it wants to go. And they’ll do it then. They’ll stroke their pet & hold its paw while it closes its eyes & slips away. And they’ll grieve.

        People are like that. Sure, they’re dying, & modern palliative care drugs can do much to alleviate their physical pain – but not always, & they only bring the strong opioids in at the very last hours. Those people highly attuned to the needs of others & they can see the impact their deterioration towards inevitable expiry is having on the people closest & deaeest to them. Some conditions will affect & change their personalities & behaviour as they die, to somebody not nice. They want to be allowed to make the decision to leave while they’re still the way they are, with everyone prepared for it. It’s not an easy decision. They suffer before they die because they see the suffering in their loved ones.

        It’s a complex situation. I was at a funeral yesterday & talking to a much loved 79 year old aunty. I lost my wife of many years 6 years ago, too young, but her death was sudden & relatively painless for her. My aunty & her late husband were very close & so were their family. He suffered for months, every day, right up until his last hours in the hospice. She said he wanted to go before he did, & would have let him, & everyone would have understood. He died four years ago. (And she told me she’s got a boyfriend. A widower. They weren’t looking. She told him no. It’s very sweet. They share their lives but they’ll be living apart, like many do. I am so happy for her.)

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  July 16, 2017

          All so true, G. I hope they are living apart because it suits them best and not because they fear other peoples’ criticism.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  July 16, 2017

            Absolutely. That RSA clubrooms is just a bloody pick up joint, I reckon, Al! I should probably go up there – but I can’t be bothered! 😀

            They don’t give a shit what other people think. But EVERYBODY they know is totally happy for them anyway.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 16, 2017

              Great. Good for them all.

            • Gezza

               /  July 16, 2017

              And I’ve just tracked bloody cat poo through the dining room! Dammit! 😡 . You go out to feed your watebirds you don’t expect to find bloody cat poo in your wet lawn! When I see that bloody Bex next she’ll be getting an angry point at the ground & an earful! Poop on your dad’s lawn, Bex – not mine!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 16, 2017

              Cats are usually quite fussy an discrete about where they poo, G. You must have annoyed her.

            • Gezza

               /  July 16, 2017

              Bad parenting! IMO!

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 16, 2017

      Hospice do a great job but to pretend many dementia patients die with dignity is an abuse of the English language.

      Reply
  3. I think unofficially we already have it here. The Liverpool Care Pathway denies food & water to patients & I’ve heard hair raising stories of how patients got onto that pathway even here in NZ. Beyond a certain age patients are considered no longer financially viable? (not quite the right word). And this pathway started out as the means to ending suffering of terminally ill patients.

    Reply
    • My mother just stopped eating and drinking under hospice care and was allowed to die – not a nice experience for her, nor for family. She was given morphine, but only after she showed signs of experiencing pain, which she suffered quite a lot from.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 16, 2017

        My wife starved to death in a morphine coma. Frankly I thought it a hideous way to die and in no respect dignified.

        Reply
        • Similar for my mother, but pain kept disturbing her. She was conscious just before she died, the look on her face was traumatic.

          Reply
      • Hi Pete, sorry I missed your comment there. My notifications doing funny things. Sorry to hear of your mother. I gather she didn’t want to eat or drink? The LCP, they deny food & water, sometimes without family’s knowledge. And we’re all thankful that pain can be managed but it’s doing these things without proper explanations &/or consent.

        Reply
        • When my father died in a rest home hospital it was helped by morphine. He went down so quickly I didn’t know what was going on. I asked the staff and they fobbed me off.

          It was a stressful time, I have been his primary carer for months. When they didn’t explain what was happening and took some time out, went off and had a meal out. He died while I was away.

          Reply
          • That’s awful that you weren’t there 😦 And that seems to be the common theme from what I’m hearing of others’ experiences. I have a post to write on one of them. Just means we have to watch closely & warn our loved ones I believe.

            Reply

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