Suicide Risks of the End of life choice act

Open letter

In 2019, mental health experts and researchers wrote an open letter to MPs highlighting the risk that introducing assisted dying would increase suicides. 

In the press release, spokesperson Dion Howard “says he has first-hand experience of his young clients using the same justifications for their suicidal inclinations as euthanasia advocates.”

“We feel a professional responsibility to present overseas statistical evidence regarding the relationship between assisted dying and suicide rates, the evidence is not conclusive because no-one has yet done the research and it is complex, but there is suggestive evidence which indicates that, over time, as the rates of assisted dying increase, there is a corresponding increase in suicide rates.”

“It’s a critical issue here in New Zealand because we have some of the highest suicide rates in the world, particularly for Māori, and they are still rising.”

The Care Alliance continues to believe that it is too risky to legislate for euthanasia or assisted suicide in New Zealand until evidence can show there’s no causal effect on New Zealand’s already high suicide levels.

Listen to Dion Howard talking about his concerns here: