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Leading Disability Rights Campaigner Warns Against the Introduction of Assisted Suicide

by Care for Life, 11 May 2018

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said that removing universal safeguards was dangerous and risked vulnerable and disabled people becoming “collateral damage” as no law was “perfect”.

Tanni was born with spina-bifida and is a wheelchair user. She is one of the UK’s most successful disabled athletes, winning 11 Paralympic gold medals and breaking 30 records.

In a deeply personal section she talked how it was possible for any of disable person to feel low and a burden on their friends and family. “The voices of disabled people, particularly matter on this subject of life and death. The simple truth is that there is no safe law for assisted suicide and disabled people are particularly vulnerable if such a law is passed. ”

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Opinion polarised on End of Life Choice Bill

by Nicki Harper, Hawke’s Bay Today, 19 May 2018

“What everybody is trying to do deal with, like me, is that while it’s true there are some people who have difficult deaths is legislation the right mechanism to help those people?” said Yule.

In an effort to gather as much information as he could, he said he had talked to many people on both sides of the debate, but that his final decision once the bill was in its final form would not be made on the issue of freedom of choice.

“It will be made on whether there is undue suffering potentially being endured and whether that is acceptable or not.

“It’s a moral dilemma around the very big call to take someone’s life early versus the suffering they may be under – I think that will be the crunch of it when it comes to the select committee.”

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The deadly push for assisted suicide

by Julie Hocker, The Washington Times, 13 May 2018

First, assisted suicide bills create a scale to determine those individuals a state will protect and those who are deemed less valuable. With a yardstick created by well-paid death advocates, doctors will legally determine if a fellow New Yorker fits into the category of “better off dead.”

And while proponents of this bill will tell you the bill addresses intolerable suffering, 20 years of data from Oregon (the “pioneer state” for assisted suicide) tell us that three out of four people who ask their doctors for help committing suicide do so because they feel they have become too great a burden to their loved ones or miss participating in daily activities without assistance.

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The dangerous ideology of ‘rational suicide’

by Michael Cook, MercatorNet, 11 May 2018

Although Dr Goodall was healthy enough, considering his age, he did not seem well supported in day-to-day life. The turning point for him seemed to be a fall in his one-bedroom flat. Although he did not break any bones, he was unable to get up from the floor and remained there for two days. Two days without visitors, not even relatives? Something was wrong.

Although the extensive media coverage about his decision focused on airport hugs from his grandsons, Goodall’s family life must have been less than satisfactory. He had been through three marriages. None of his four children and 12 grandchildren accompanied him on his trip to Switzerland. Instead, his travelling companion was the West Australian coordinator of Exit.

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Legalising voluntary euthanasia a slippery slope: Geriatrician

by Anneke Smith, Hawke’s Bay Today, 19 May 2018

His biggest concern was that doctors and nurses would become too relaxed about the due processes in place and end the lives of those who either didn’t want euthanasia or weren’t eligible.

“A person might have a severe disability or illness which qualifies him or her for euthanasia but what do you do about the next person comes along who has not quite got the same symptoms and signs as earlier ones but is also demanding euthanasia?

“Over a period of time you get this thing called incrementalism, gradual development where what started as a small issue become a major issue in society.”

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Being exquisitely careful…

by Henry Cooke, Stuff, 22 May 2018

Tawa doctor and chair of the Health Professionals Alliance Catherine Hallagan submitted strongly against the bill.

“It is a bad bill that cannot be fixed,” Hallagan said.

She said doctors and other health professionals did not want the law. No safeguards built into the law would be sufficient to make sure patients were not being coerced into choosing death by family or others.

“Doctors cannot prove that coercion does not exist,” Hallagan.

Sinead Donnelly, a palliative care doctor, agreed with Hallagan, saying coercion would be impossible to avoid.

“We have no doubt that coercion occurs in daily life. The older, the mentally ill, the frail, are more susceptible to coercion, which can be extremely subtle,” Donnelly said.

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Legalising ‘assisted dying’ would have been putting the cart before the horse

by Living and Dying Well, 18 May 2018

The States of Guernsey, the Bailiwick’s Legislature, has rejected a Requete – a formal proposal – to commission a working party to develop a legal framework to enable doctors to supply or administer lethal drugs to seriously-ill people. 

No, the issue won’t go away and those who govern us are going to have to find answers to the problems that a changing society is bringing.  But they need to be well-considered answers based on careful study of serious evidence and they need to be answers for all, not just for some. 

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‘End of life bill demeans the disabled’

by Thomas Coughlan, Newsroom, 22 May 2018

The euthanasia bill risks sending a message to the disabled that their lives are valued less than the lives of abled-bodied New Zealanders, the Disability Rights Commissioner says.

She argued that the inclusion of disabled people in the legislation sent a message that disabled lives were not worth living.

Tesoriero said that a suicidal disabled person who met the Bill’s criteria would be allowed to end their life, whereas an abled-bodied person who also wanted to end their life would be given social support and counselling and would be prohibited from assisted suicide. 

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Record number of submissions on euthanasia bill forces committee to delay its report

by Isaac Davison, The New Zealand Herald, 21 May 2018

Public hearings begin today on the End of Life Choice Bill, and so far 35,000 submissions have been received.

The committee was initially given nine months to hear the submissions, an extension on the usual six months. It has now pushed the deadline back another three months, to March, to cope with the huge workload.

Select committees usually choose which submitters they want to hear from in person, but because of the significance of the legislation the Justice Committee has decided to hear from anyone who wants to make an oral submission.

So far, 3500 people have said they want to appear in person.

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What does euthanasia mean for those who want to live?

by James Eglinton, The Sunday Herald, 17 May 2018

A society that legalises it automatically creates a new pair of choices for all of its citizens. These choices – to stop living, or to carry on living – are both novelties occasioned by the legalisation of euthanasia. If the terminally ill are granted the right to die, every terminally ill person who declines this new possibility is necessarily making the counter-choice to carry on living. The same is true regardless of which group is given the right to choose death: the old, the ill, the depressed, the poor, and so on.

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