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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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Simon O’Connor: Why we didn’t back euthanasia bill

by Simon O’Connor, The New Zealand Herald, 10 August 2017

Simon O’Connor is National MP for Tamaki and chaired Parliament’s Health Select Committee, which has recommended no action be taken on the petition of Maryan Street and 8,974 others to allow medically-assisted dying in the event of terminal illness or unbearable suffering.

I recognise that some people believe assisted suicide and euthanasia are a right, that it is a matter of self-determination and personal autonomy. However, New Zealand is not four million people living isolated from one another, but a broad inclusive society. The actions taken by each member of society affect the lives of others around them.

What started with good intentions and the pursuit of autonomy will have widespread ramifications and some of the most vulnerable people in our society already struggle to be heard.

Whatever your view on assisted suicide and euthanasia, I would like to encourage everyone to read the report of the health committee. This topic is very complicated and deserves more than a quick headline.

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