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New Zealand Medical Association states: Euthanasia – The risk is too great and the consequences are final

by | Sep 16, 2016

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

nz-01 nz-02The New Zealand government’s  Health Select Committee is currently gathering evidence as it considers the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

According to NewsHub,  the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), that represents 5500 medical professionals, stated that it opposes changing the law to allow euthanasia.

Stacey Kirk with Stuff New Zealand reported that Dr. Stephen Child, chair of the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), said:

“the scope for error was too large when weighed against the outcome.” 

“This is an irreversible decision in which the consequences are final.”

Dr. Child argued that doctors are not always right in forming a patient’s prognosis. According to NewsHub, Child stated:

“Doctors do everything we possibly can for our patients …but 10 to 15 percent of diagnoses are incorrect, and three percent of diagnoses of cancer are incorrect.

“We’re not always right in diagnosis, and we’re not always right in prognosis. 

“In principle and in practice, the association does not support a change in the legislation.” 

Dr. Child told Stacey Kirk of Stuff New Zealand

“We also believe in the right of the administration of… pain relief and other medications, for the purpose of relieving pain and suffering, even if the secondary consequence of that treatment may hasten death … 

 “Decisions however are often influenced by circumstance, by fear of what the future might hold, by concern for loved ones and by societal expectations, which can cause direct and indirect coercion in decision-making.”

Radio New Zealand stated to the health committee

people with disabilities suffered from negative attitudes, and voluntary euthanasia would add to that.

The New Zealand Parliament’s Health Select Committee is hearing oral submissions based on receiving more than 1800 responses from New Zealanders and organisations on the issue of euthanasia, out of a record total of 21,435 submissions.


Editor’s note. This appeared on Alex’s blog.

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