NRL News

New Zealand native group rallies against euthanasia bill

by | Apr 11, 2019

By Alex Schadenberg, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Editor’s note. This post combines two items, a story written by Mr. Schadenberg and a press release from the advocacy group “Not Dead Yet.”

A rally was held this week at the New Zealand parliament by the Pacific People native group opposing the euthanasia bill.

According to a Radio New Zealand report:

About 200 hundred people gathered in parliament grounds to protest against the bill.

One of the speakers at the rally, Dr. Luatupu Cleverley, said the legislation compounded poor health outcomes for the Pacific community.

Pacific people already suffer the worst statistics in the New Zealand health system and the bill goes against their culture and traditions, Dr Cleverley said.

It is traditional for Pacific families to look after their own and the government should focus on improving palliative care, she said.

Another report stated that the Pacific People are calling on members of parliament to reject the euthanasia bill. One speaker said in opposing the euthanasia bill:

“What decision you’re making does not fit us: socially, politically, culturally, emotionally, physically. Everything.”

Protesters were upset about the lack of consultation provided to the Pacific People by the government.

The Justice Committee recently released its report on the euthanasia bill. They concluded that the “euthanasia bill is not workable in its present state.”

Nearly 38,000 submissions were heard by MPs on David Seymour’s euthanasia Choice Bill. The New Zealand Care Alliance analyzed the submissions and stated:

A full analysis of all 38,707 submissions to the Justice Select Committee shows that 90.2 percent oppose David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill. This is a record number of submissions for any bill before the House. They paint a heart-felt and deeply human picture of the views held by many New Zealanders who have considered the implications of legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide, and had sufficient strength of feeling to write in and make their views known.

Confused report still doesn’t understand disabled peoples’ risk from euthanasia

By Not Dead Yet Aotearoa

The [Justice] Select Committee’s report on David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill comes with the committee saying it cannot agree to pass it, but Not Dead Yet Aotearoa is deeply disturbed that it still shows so little understanding of the risk disabled people face from such legislation.

“In two or three brief paragraphs, the committee gives a very simplistic understanding of disabled peoples’ arguments and concerns” says Not Dead Yet Aotearoa spokesperson Wendi Wicks. “It is from a very individual-story perspective and is based on the same sad old stereotypes about disabled lives-the suffering, the indignity the less-ness – that make our living so infernally difficult; that makes euthanasia a totally reasonable, desirable option”.

“The Select Committee had a real opportunity to learn how disabled people are actually living well despite the impediments of paternalistic systems, supports and shonky [shoddy] thinking about us. Sadly it did not discernibly do that, so we are still at collective risk from euthanasia legislation.”

“This bill must be withdrawn now says Wendi Wicks. New Zealanders do not need the bad law that this bill would enact, and parliament has a duty not to enact bad law for a privileged few but good law for all its citizens.”

Categories: Euthanasia