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Narelle Henson: Complex matters of life and death

by Narelle Henson, Waikato Times, 15 September 2017

In fact, ACT’s David Seymour dismissed O’Connor’s claim using the example of suicidal young people, a group we are rightly fighting desperately to save in New Zealand. But in Belgium where euthanasia is legal, a suicidal young woman won the right to euthanasia. Why? Because the courts agree that death is a reasonable and good response to suffering – physical or mental.

When compassion means allowing some to choose death to relieve suffering, how can it also mean convincing others to live through it?

If we cannot answer these questions, then surely, we have to face the fact that what we are fighting with one hand, we are feeding with the other.

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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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