Euthanasia advocates’ survey still shabby, still wrong

Media release, Care Alliance, 2 June 2017

Euthanasia advocates’ survey still shabby, still wrong

Matthew Jansen, Secretary of the Care Alliance, says he is disappointed that the New Zealand Medical Journal has chosen to publish an article by Phillipa Malpas, Mike Wilson and Pam Oliver based on their flawed 2015 survey.

Mr Jansen said the only good thing about the new article is that Drs Malpas and Oliver have disclosed upfront that they are members of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. “They did not do that in the original survey. In November 2015 the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (UAHPEC) had to concede that ‘that there were some deficiencies in the processes surrounding the approval of protocol 015470’.”

“Back in May 2016 I said that their initial research paper was a ‘Shabby conclusion to a deceptive beginning’. It was flawed in its methodology, flawed in its ethics approval and flawed in its cherry-picking analysis.”

“Their latest paper cannot overcome those flaws,” said Mr Jansen. He noted that a critique of the research by eight highly-qualified medical, social and ethics experts last year concluded that ‘The myriad flaws in the survey’s design, data selection, interpretation and reporting mean this research paper is of little or no value in understanding New Zealand doctors’ and nurses’ attitudes towards legalising “assisted dying”.’

Mr Jansen said the researchers’ bias is made clear by their ‘perceived likelihood that AD may be legalised in New Zealand soon.’ “In fact, analysis of 21,277 submissions to the Health Select Committee’s investigation showed that 77 percent were opposed to the legalisation of euthanasia in New Zealand.”

ENDS