by Isaac Davison, New Zealand Herald, 12 October 2016
Mr Davison reports on the submission of Bernadette Scanlon to the Health Select Committee. Ms Scanlan is a young lawyer living in Wellington, who is presently in remission from Stage 3 cancer.
During her second round of chemotherapy, the 28 year-old said she was often “hugely vulnerable” and “mentally weak”.
“I recall feeling utterly helpless, physically awful and alone. I hated the situation I was in, a situation I couldn’t escape from … This mindset unfortunately has continued from time to time, post-treatment, when I get a bad result, when I compare my current life to where I expected it to be, or when I look at my friends’ lives.
“During all these points of time, had the choice of death actually been available, for once in my life, I may have taken it into consideration.
“And that is exactly what I didn’t need or actually want.
“And that is the exact type of person who you as a committee don’t want to capture.”
“I was surrounded by support and love, I had an expectation of a cure, and I am young, I am educated, I am self-aware.
“Imagine if that wasn’t the situation … By condoning death as being an acceptable solution to a problem, we will shift the moral standpoint for a number of highly vulnerable patients.”
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