Justice Select Committee Submissions

Overview

As part of the parliamentary process around the End of Life Choice Bill, a Justice Select Committee was formed to examine the Bill in detail. The New Zealand public was invited to make submissions on the Bill to this Select Committee. Making a submission meant that members of the public wrote to Parliament expressing their opinion on whether the Bill should be introduced or not.  In total, 38,707 submissions were received, more than any in the history of New Zealand’s Parliament. They were 90.2 % opposed to the Bill.

Statistics

  • 93.5% of submissions received from doctors, nurses and other health care staff who expressed a position were opposed to legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide as required under the End of Life Choice Bill.
  • Of the more than twenty organisations representing the medical, aged care and palliative care sectors, not one argued in support of legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide. 
  •  90.5% of submissions made no reference at all to religious arguments. 

Main Themes

The six main themes that emerged from people in opposition to the Bill were as follows:

      1. Adverse impacts on vulnerable people and society overall.
      2. Overseas experience was not reassuring.
      3. Assisted suicide and euthanasia undermine suicide prevention efforts.
      4. Adverse effects on the doctor-patient relationship.
      5. The breach of a long-standing societal and ethical understanding that doctors should not intentionally end a patient’s life.
      6. Palliative care works but needs proper resourcing.