Sick patients not fit to choose euthanasia, MPs told

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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