Homepage, News

‘No-one is beyond help’: Why euthanasia should never be an option

By Danielle Gibbs, Stuff.co.nz, 10 July 2019

We live in a world where things are not perfect. How can we say, “it’s okay for you to die, your life is intolerable” when we don’t always have the means to provide the full support a person needs to live?
We need more support for vulnerable people, such as the disabled and mentally ill, that is based on the individual’s needs. There should not be a set standard…

We need to start thinking that prevention is always better than cure.
We need to tell society that it’s okay to need help. It doesn’t mean you are weak. It means you know your limits and capabilities. Asking for help is a strength.

Read the full article here.

Homepage, News

1000 Kiwi doctors sign letter against euthanasia

By Simon Collins, NZ Herald / Newstalk ZB, 23rd June 2019

One thousand doctors have signed a letter saying they “want no part in assisted suicide”. They have urged politicians and policy-makers to let them focus on saving lives and care for the dying, rather than taking lives, which they deemed unethical – whether legal or not.

“We believe that crossing the line to intentionally assist a person to die would fundamentally weaken the doctor-patient relationship which is based on trust and respect,” the letter reads.
“We are especially concerned with protecting vulnerable people who can feel they have become a burden to others, and we are committed to supporting those who find their own life situations a heavy burden.”
Finishing, they said: “Doctors are not necessary in the regulation or practice of assisted suicide. They are included only to provide a cloak of medical legitimacy.

Read the full article here.

Homepage, News

Disability Commissioner incredibly concerned about the euthanasia bill in New Zealand

Euthanasia is legal in Canada and a visiting expert says its very patient-driven, but our Disability Commissioner is concerned the Bill doesn’t protect the most vulnerable. Watch the debate from TV1, Breakfast, here:

The euthanasia debate is heating up as the End Of Life Choice Bill has its second reading in Parliament.

The euthanasia debate is heating up as the End Of Life Choice Bill has its second reading in Parliament. Euthanasia is legal in Canada and a visiting expert says its very patient-driven, but our Disability Commissioner is concerned the Bill doesn't protect the most vulnerable.

Posted by Breakfast on Sunday, 23 June 2019
Homepage, News

Claire Freeman’s incredible story

In a powerful interview on TVNZ Sunday, Claire Freeman describes the car accident that left her paralysed as a teenager and how, after multiple suicide attempts, she received medical advice to pursue assisted suicide overseas.

Had assisted suicide been available in NZ, Claire says it’s likely she would have taken her life. Claire has now turned her life around and she’s determined to save the lives of other vulnerable people.

Watch the interview here.

You can learn more about Claire and her eligibility under the End of Life Choice Bill at www.defendnz.co.nz/claire

Homepage, News

Assisted dying laws pose a grave risk to the vulnerable

by Joel Hodge, The Age, 7 September 2017

Joel Hodge is a senior lecturer in the School of Theology at Australian Catholic University.

In a study of states with euthanasia law, published in Current Oncology, Dr J. Pereira writes that “laws and safeguards are regularly ignored and transgressed in all the jurisdictions and that transgressions are not prosecuted. For example, about 900 people annually are administered lethal substances without having given explicit consent, and in one jurisdiction, almost 50 per cent of cases of euthanasia are not reported.”

It is easy to underestimate the vulnerability of the elderly and dying, and the delicate human dynamics involved in caring for them. Whenever we are seriously ill, we are placed in a precarious position, heavily dependent on others and confronting all manner of fears.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Why I’ll be voting no to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017

by Walt Secord, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 September 2017

Walt Secord is NSW Shadow Health Minister for Health and Deputy Opposition leader in the NSW Legislative Council.

I saw first-hand the experiences of those in our nation’s nursing homes and how it was almost impossible – despite the best intentions – to protect the most vulnerable from manipulation and exploitation.

But on balance, I believe parliamentarians cannot codify legislation on how to end a human life.

It is not possible to put in place sufficient safeguards and protections to prevent abuses of these laws. And this is before we consider the invidious pressures of medical costs, financial burdens on families or the prospect of manipulation in regard to inheritances.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Elder abuse on the rise in step with galloping property prices

by Graham Hill, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 August 2017

Dr Graham Hill is the chairman of National Legal Aid, the peak body representing legal aid commissions in all states and territories.

Growing numbers of older people are being pressured by adult children to guarantee enormous loans.

The pressure on older people can be immense. Adult children sometimes deny access to grandchildren if an elderly parent does not agree to be a guarantor or provide funds for a home deposit.

The boom in property prices has resulted in a spike in the numbers of adult children taking over an elderly parent’s home and refusing to move out. At times, rising house prices result in an adult child persuading an elderly parent to sell up and buy a home with them.

Vulnerable parents are unable to free themselves of an abusive son or daughter who insists on living rent-free. 

This is also an increasing problem across the Tasman, where it was reported in New Zealand earlier this year that increasing numbers of elderly being abused.

Age Concern statistics show about 75 per cent of alleged abusers were family members – more than half the alleged abusers were adult children or grandchildren.

Family situations were often complex and elderly people relied on the care of the abuser, so instead of reporting the abuse, they put up with it, Clare said.

Click here to read the full article.