David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill is an affront to humanity and must not proceed.

By   /   March 12, 2018  /   66 Comments

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The bill has been promoted as providing the option for a terminally ill person who is suffering intolerably to get assistance to end his or her life in a dignified manner at a time of their choosing. It isn’t. Seymour’s Bill is much broader with wording which opens a wide spectrum of people suffering from a wide variety of conditions to the scope of the proposed legislation.

The bill has been promoted as providing the option for a terminally ill person who is suffering intolerably to get assistance to end his or her life in a dignified manner at a time of their choosing. It isn’t.

Seymour’s Bill is much broader with wording which opens a wide spectrum of people suffering from a wide variety of conditions to the scope of the proposed legislation.

The Disability Rights Commissioner has been scathing about the bill and its lack of safeguards for people with chronic diseases and serious disabilities. From a newsroom story:

“The key thing for New Zealanders to understand is that this bill goes beyond terminal illness,” Tesoriero told Newsroom .

“What people need to understand is there’s a really broad scope to the bill, and quite a range of disabilities or chronic health conditions could be considered a grievous or irremediable condition,” she said. “We haven’t had a discussion about the extension of the scope beyond terminal illness.”

Tesoriero’s submission argues that a wide range of chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, neurological disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism and other neuro-disabilities and regional pain syndromes, “if advanced and sufficiently degenerative,” could fall within the bill’s scope.

“What people need to understand is there’s a really broad scope to the bill, and quite a range of disabilities or chronic health conditions could be considered a grievous or irremediable condition,” she said. “We haven’t had a discussion about the extension of the scope beyond terminal illness.”

Tesoriero’s submission argues that a wide range of chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, neurological disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism and other neuro-disabilities and regional pain syndromes, “if advanced and sufficiently degenerative,” could fall within the bill’s scope.

In defence of the Bill Seymour had this to say:

“The (Disability Rights Commissioner’s) submission did not acknowledge section 4 (d) of the bill,” he said. “A person cannot access an assisted death unless they are in ‘an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability.’ This means that a person cannot access an assisted death because of their level of capability, it is being in an advanced state of decline that counts.”

Who is Seymour trying to kid with his “advanced state of decline”? It could and will be used in a wide variety of situations not contemplated in his sales pitch to the country.

The truly terrifying thing about assisted suicide is that many frail and vulnerable elderly people in poor health will be pressured by family members to get medical help to end their lives because they are “in an advanced state of decline”.

There will be plenty of elderly in Seymour’s electorate – the wealthiest in the country – with unscrupulous family members who would be very keen to use the bill to get an earlier inheritance.

For them it won’t be David Seymour’s “End of Life Choice Bill” but David Seymour’s “Speeding up inheritances in Epsom” Bill.

Seymour’s bill is an affront to humanity. It must not proceed.

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66 Comments

  1. jay1 says:

    It’s an individual choice if they decide. The Bill is good and aligns with some European countries.

    • Samwise says:

      I’m torn on this issue. On the one hand, I want the right to decide my own life. On the other, I understand that cuts to health may force some to feel they have no choice all. That is the irony here that a lack of choice in healthcare may force some to take the road to end their lives.

    • Michelle says:

      The bill might align with some European countries but it does not align with Maori culture. Also we are not in Europe we are in NZ.

      • simonm says:

        There is no compulsion for Maori to exercise the end-of-life choices granted by the bill if they don’t wish to. Plenty of Maori object to abortion too, but that doesn’t mean they should get to decide the issue for others.

        • Michelle says:

          yes Simon Maori have a choice but when laws are being reviewed or considered the pakeha view is always dominant because make up the majority in our country and our culture is more than often given very little consideration. This may also apply to people with strong religious views.

          • simonm says:

            Some Maori people such as Louisa Wall (who I think is an excellent MP) have given the bill their full support.

            Others, such as Marama Fox (who I dislike for propping up the National government for 9 years for personal expediency) oppose it because of their staunch religious views (as a conservative Mormon she’s fought hard against abortion rights and same-sex marriage too).

            This remains an issue of personal choice and autonomy. Maori have a range of views across the spectrum about it, just as they do on other issues.

            • bert says:

              Marama Fox has a choice also and she places it on her religious beliefs as you say. I have no religious belief so I am fortunate it cannot sway the way I personally feel. I am pro choice, when choice is taken away,then it is a dictatorship.

              • Sam Sam says:

                I blame the pill. It’s made sex with out consequences far to popular. It’ll probably take a thousand years for us to fix this.

          • D'Esterre says:

            Michelle: “our culture is more than often given very little consideration.”

            In matters such as end of life choices, considerations of individual agency must – whether you like it or not – trump those of culture. Your cultural mores ought not to be forced on the rest of us who don’t share them.

            “This may also apply to people with strong religious views.”

            I don’t doubt that it does, given that your opposition to Seymour’s Bill is essentially religious in nature. However, I remind you that this is a secular democracy: those of us who aren’t religious – possibly a majority in NZ – are entitled to have secular legislation enacted. People with religious beliefs can choose not to end their lives by means of assisted dying.

            • Michelle says:

              But whose culture has been forced on us D’ Estere
              and whose laws and whose name places (many coming from scoundrels, murderers and rapist) and who has assumed a superior position in most facets of life on our side of the world.

      • D'Esterre says:

        Michelle: ” it does not align with Maori culture”

        Notwithstanding, Maori views ought not to influence the passage of this Bill into law.

        Nobody is asking you to engage with the issue, but many of the rest of us want that choice. You do what you like, but allow the rest of us to exercise agency over our own bodies, and over the end-stage of our lives.

        • Michelle says:

          why estere cant you handle the truth we are all entitled to our opinion in our country you don’t have to read it if you don’t like it

  2. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Anyone against this bill is by definition for continued suffering and mental anguish at any cost. Your life is just that, yours, and if you want it ended you should be able to so. This whole notion of family members “pressuring” loved ones into effectively committing suicide is utter nonsense imo. There is no evidence whatsoever that this is something that routinely happens in the many countries that already have similar legislation.
    Do you want euthanasia banned for animals too? If not, why not?

    • D'Esterre says:

      Nitrium: “Your life is just that, yours, and if you want it ended you should be able to so.”

      Neatly put.

      “This whole notion of family members “pressuring” loved ones into effectively committing suicide is utter nonsense imo.”

      Yup, mine too. People who raise this particular spectre: are they implying that that’s what they themselves would do? And if they indignantly deny even thinking of such a thing, why on earth would they think that any of the rest of us would? A very misanthropic view of people,if I may say so.

    • Michelle says:

      Yes end your own life but don’t pass laws so other feel they have to end theirs or make some people vulnerable

      • Strypey says:

        This comment is a classic example of the confused attitude of those who oppose this bill. Let us be clear. This is not a bill empowering the state, family members, or anyone else to decide when someone should die. It is a bill removing legal penalties for those who have made their own choice to die, or those assisting them.

        The result of *not* passing this bill is not that people will remain alive against their will. Rather the effect would be that they still cannot use the most peaceful and humane method to end their life, that they could face charges if the ad-hoc methods they attempt does not succeed, and that family members or friends could face charges of murder if it is alleged they assisted them. Is this really what you want?

  3. tony says:

    (disclosure – I am 71) If members of my family, those close to me and important to me, wish to hasten my death, I’m not sure how much I’d want to stay alive.

    I worry much more about placing them in jeopardy if they help me die when I actually want to, which is where the law is now. It has to change.

  4. Glenn says:

    At least let us be given the chance to vote on it. I will vote in favour but it’s a majority decision

  5. Observer Tokoroa says:

    I take it that only the individual can decide if she/he wishes to depart this life. No other Person.

    If family, “do gooder”, or Doctor were to intervene they would be guilty of serious crime.

    Who would investigate whether family, do gooder or doctor had intervened with the Seymour “solution” ?

    People can be made to get very sick very quickly. Also, people can be seriously incapable and yet still recover.

    John Minto is correct in pointing out assisted suicide must not be a mere whimsy – like so much litter.

  6. im right says:

    C’mon John, you are playing the ‘everyone will be euthanized’ scare tactic!
    No different when police were first issued with Tasers and Hone Hariwira and Keith Locke were saying all brown people would be Tasered on a daily basis! this did not eventuate, far from it, the numbers were bloody good as the Taser has been a good non-lethal deterrent and just presenting it without firing numbers was vastly higher than actually used. (their silence was deafening)
    There will be laws and safe guards wrapped around any legislation and umpteen select committee readings as well as public input. Just because you don’t like it John doesn’t mean It has to be still born….if that were the case NO laws/legislation would ever get passed if you had to decide which is good and which is bad.

  7. Historian Pete says:

    If you had an absolute miserable life that you found unbearable , because you had a degenerative disease like multiple sclerosis, Huntingtons, muscular dystrophy, or degenerative myopathy, or dozens of other conditions that have a similar effect, you may have second thoughts.Paint me as an enabler of an affront to humanity if you must , but I support the bill .And I am not going to have my right to terminate my life if I develop one of the aforementioned conditions thwarted by your hysterical concern for “the frail and vulnerable in poor health”. The answer is to protect the frail and vulnerable, not to prevent our right to chose!!!

  8. Richard Christie says:

    Unlike John Minto, I’ve spent weeks virtually paralysed, on my back in an ICU ward.

    Unlike John Minto, I know what it is like to spend weeks being feed through the nose.

    Unlike John Minto, I’ve spent weeks with my throat clamped shut, unable to swallow and being forcibly ventilated by machine.

    Unlike John Minto I know what it feels like to be unable to even lift my hand to write notes to communicate.

    Unlike John Minto, I know what it is like to be unable shower, to tie shoe laces, stand up from the WC or climb more than three steps of a stair without struggling to draw a breath.

    Unlike John Minto, I know what it is like to spend 20 minutes just getting into bed in a manner that doesn’t leave me struggling to breath.

    Unlike John Minto, I’ve spent time facing down a slow irreversible decline toward a truly miserable death.

    These are the sort of miseries and indignities that John Minto (and M Bradbury) are comfortable to allow others to unnecessarily suffer; by denying them the right to control the manner of their death when they are faced with terminal illness and suffering.

    One might, if uncharitable, wish a similar fate upon both gentlemen.

    Note: Due to NZ Organ Transplant program I have been gifted a one shot reprieve from the listed symptoms. For this I am truly grateful to all involved.

    Others have no such life line.

    • adam says:

      No one is stopping you from killing yourself. If you think you need the state to be involved in that, then there is something seriously wrong with you.

      Before you get – You don’t know, It is that I do. I have a degenerative condition as well.

      Don’t ask people to end your life for you, it’s a morally repulsive position. If you want to die, feel free to pull your own plug. Don’t make killers out of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

  9. Cassie says:

    Shallow thinking -or non thinking , and accepting anything that sounds reasonable on the surface- is yet another reason our society is on a steep decline.
    Why in this day & age in 21st century, does the “need” for a “euthanasia bill”
    suddenly appear? Because those who are really behind it know damned well that it’s only the start, and if it is passed it will go beyond it’s original intent.
    In Europe this is already happening.
    29 year old woman with mental illness euthanised. Elderly woman with dementia involuntarily euthanised. Children can now be euthanised in Belgium…
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/01/euthanasia-netherlands-mental-illness-aurelia-browers-29-years-old-belgium-assisted-suicide-culture-death-sanctity-life/
    I can easily foresee for example that in 50 yrs time, all elderly beyond a certain age will be snuffed out,as well as people with disabilities, because by then society will be so desensitised & indifferent as to accept this as normal.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Cassie: ” Because those who are really behind it know damned well that it’s only the start, and if it is passed it will go beyond it’s original intent.
      …….
      I can easily foresee for example that in 50 yrs time, all elderly beyond a certain age will be snuffed out,as well as people with disabilities, because by then society will be so desensitised & indifferent as to accept this as normal.”

      An egregious combination of conspiracy theory and reductio ad absurdum there, Cassie. As arguments in opposition, neither is well-founded.

      Let’s have the legislation passed. I don’t doubt that your objections to it are essentially religious in nature; fair enough, but again, this is a secular democracy. Religious views can’t be allowed to exert influence on legislation in this country.

      You won’t be forced against your will to engage with this issue. And the rest of us won’t be forced against our will to follow religious precepts to which we do not subscribe.

  10. Harry says:

    Being opposed to voluntary euthanasia is “an affront to humanity”. Recycling the same old lame anti-euthanasia bogeymen does not make them any more valid.

  11. Rodel says:

    I want the right to die on my own terms but I don’t trust any of Mr Seymour’s ideas. John Minto has pretty much explained my discomfort over this one.

    • I'm right says:

      You would be happy Rodel if it were drafted by a Labour MP?, same rules and all…pffft Minto would write the same no matter who drafted the bill. (And it is just a draft)

      • simonm says:

        I agreed with this bill when NZ First’s Peter Brown proposed it. I didn’t agree with many of his other policies or views.

        I agreed with this bill when Labour’s Maryan Street proposed it. I agreed with the majority of her views in other policy areas as well.

        I agree with this bill now that ACT’s David Seymour has proposed it. I disagree with him on almost every other issue.

        This isn’t a “left” or “right” argument for me. It’s about my personal autonomy and life choices. I’m not religious and I don’t want someone who is making my ‘end-of-life’ choices for me.

    • Shona says:

      Agreed, anything mooted by Act is suspect. It is never about what is being promoted in the media and always about grabbing wealth while shafting the disadvantaged when it comes to NZ’s far right.

  12. orbital panda says:

    David wanders the streets of epsom. “Bring out your dead, bring out your old”
    David finally shows some compassion for hardworking New Zealander’s??!!
    Imagine the savings on healthcare and resthome care. It could be a plus plus all around. Onsite resthome cremations perhaps, or mobile crematoria. Two for one deal on mum and dad at one time. Makes funeral arrangement real easy-yeah aunty janes funeral is in three weeks-just going through the paperwork now.
    Suggested poster for resthomes “Don’t let your loved ones see you suffer, make the right choice” or “how many times have you said I don’t want to be a burden-call 0800 do it now.”

  13. Richard Christie says:

    Where is my comment? As subsequent comments have appeared it would suggest it has been censored. If so, any fair process would be to provide the reason why.

  14. Chris says:

    Seymour’s bill is classic neoliberalism: instead of funding decent care for the elderly and the terminally ill, let’s kill them under then neoliberal mantra of “free choice”. Which, of course, is why the Act party is promoting euthanasia.

    • Strypey says:

      If the bill was about empowering anyone other than the person concerned I would agree. It is not.

      Also, just because “choice” has been used as part of false arguments by proponents of “neo-liberalism”, it doesn’t mean that freedom of choice is no longer a legitimate concern. Is your right to “free choice” about who to vote for also an example of “neo-liberalism”? What about your “free choice” to practice a religion or not? What about your “free choice” of whether to continue living in your current home or move to another? Are these all examples of “neo-liberalism” that you would support getting rid of?

    • Chris says:

      Strypey,

      Unfortunately, by definition, the Seymour bill is about empowering others than the person concerned. Because Euthanasia is not suicide, where the person concerned ends their own life, but it’s the killing of another person.

      It’s that empowering of someone else to kill you which is extremely dangerous.

      Especially when doctors are under pressure to free up scarce hospital beds, health administrators are under pressure to save money, greedy relatives want to get their hands on the inheritance, the disabled are made to feel less than worthy, and people who are poor, depressed, powerless and ill are easily pressurized into being euthanized.

      We need to do a power analysis here and see who will have the power and how it will be used against the powerless.

      Unintended consequences. Fatal consequences.

  15. Tom Gardner says:

    I certainly support this bill (have made a personal submission), and am surprised at considerable left-wing antagonism (and of course some right-wing, too, e.g. Bill English), quite apart from the straw-man argument of John Minto as above. Freedom to determine one’s own life!

    My particular angle is a desire — more than that, a burning requirement — that if I dement, I no longer wish to exist (being demented does not, in my view, equate to living). How many of this readership have visited a Care Home/Dementia Facility, full of old people lacking speech, no awareness of self or surrounds, wearing nappies for their double incontinence, and merely human husks? — this is what advanced dementia is. I am my intellect (cogito, ergo sum); failing that, I am no longer me. Of course the practical difficulty is being able to access assisted-dying while still in possession of sufficient faculty to make the request (answer: advanced directive).

    Seymour’s bill is an acknowledgment of humanity. It must proceed.

    • simonm says:

      Yes, I thought that too. Perhaps John Minto and Bill English could go out protesting together – I’d pay good money to see that!

    • orbital panda says:

      Advance Directive
      “Tom didn’t recognise his cleaner this morning-better get the paperwork ready ay-I got time this arvo”
      “leave him in the lounge I’ll clean out his room”

      • simonm says:

        Memo to Tom’s resthome:

        Tom doesn’t recognise his cleaner you say?

        As he’s no longer of sound mind and is unable to make his own decision, I’m afraid he’s no longer eligible for voluntary euthanasia according to the law.

        Kind regards,
        Certifying Doctor #2

        • orbital panda says:

          Tom Gardner has a “burning requirement” to be put down when he “dements” so he suggests an “advance directive” i.e. like a do not resuscitate tattoo on your chest. Bit like a death power of attorney. This makes sense for Tom and the bill could be amended to include this common scenario. This should be Tom’s right.
          If Toms organs are all good and he is an organ donor his organs could be harvested depending on demand and toms age.

  16. Michelle says:

    I don’t agree with putting people to sleep and I have sat with many of my whanau and watched them die including my father who died young @ 47yrs it is very hurtful but it is part of life. I would never ever do this. For those that know Maori tikanga we don’t do that its not part of our cultural practices and I don’t like it when people compare this to putting down our dogs its not the same.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Michelle: ” I would never ever do this.”

      Yes, we realise that. But understand that nobody is asking you to do it. Moreover, if Seymour’s Bill becomes law, there will still be nobody asking you to go against your cultural beliefs. This Bill is about choice. Not compulsion.

      Remember that it isn’t all about you.

  17. Robert Atack says:

    Most humans alive today will die of starvation or if lucky suicide.

  18. Andrewo says:

    Odd that the Left doesn’t like euthanasia whereby we have control of our own bodies but at the same time is in favour of unlimited abortion.

    Please explain!

    • simonm says:

      I’m in favour of personal choice for both issues, whether it be women wishing to end unwanted pregnancies or terminally ill people wanting to end their suffering in a humane manner. Does that answer your question?

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      Have you read the comments here? Almost everyone here at TDB isn’t with John on this issue. Neither are most of the Labour Party, including the PM (as will become clear during the vote). IMO it’s all a bit of a kneejerk reaction from the likes of John because that douche from ACT drafted it, so it must be part of the “right-wing death panels” that are coming. It’s John Minto and Bomber who are being “conservative” here, not the left.

  19. Andrea says:

    “with unscrupulous family members who would be very keen to use the bill to get an earlier inheritance.”

    These creatures can be found in all countries and come in many varieties.

    Hastened endings occur already and some are nasty indeed (chronic neglect, starvation and dehydration for example.) Loneliness and over-medication by people showing faux concern – happens now. All over the planet. It’s a people thing. Just like suicide – and on the same spectrum.

    I’d be more interested in hearing how the present set of checks and balances is working and why this legislation would neuter them. And the other measures in place to deal with despair, physical and psychic pain. The track record is pretty poor so far.

    I’d also like to know why we still have this hypocritical attitude to death: we have dozens to hundreds of people dying in wars every day of the year, savagely or slowly for easily met lacks. We have people dying horribly in ‘palliative care’.

    Some want to stick it out to the end, and others don’t.
    Just like abortion discussions, really. Earnest concern by kindly people who aren’t actually involved. Caretakers of the values and morals of a quite small section of society.

    (As well as the ‘save grannie’ part of the story – are we finally going to address chronic loneliness and hopelessness in seniors and others? Or do we stop short as usual? Save the body! The spirit can take care of itself.)

    There’s a lot more water still to run on this issue – and it will probably rise again.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Andrea: “Hastened endings occur already and some are nasty indeed (chronic neglect, starvation and dehydration for example.)”

      In yesterday’s DomPost, a letter critiquing Paula Tesoriero made a related point: “what tests currently apply for the presence of mental competence and the absence of coercion when a patient requests cessation of life support, or when doctors offer terminal sedation. Answer: None official.”

      The writer points out that, by comparison, the End of Life Choice Bill is safer for people with disabilities than the state of affairs which currently prevails in our health system.

  20. stand alone complex says:

    I imagine poor people taking up hospital beds might feel pressured by neo-liberal state services to move along a little quicker by Mr Seymour as well

  21. Liz Odell says:

    I think that if the quality of my life ever becomes untenable for me to wish to live, then i would want to end it, regardless of whether I have a terminal illness. And if it is not physically possible to achieve this on my own, I would like to know that any assistance given to me by another, would not result in a charge of murder or manslaughter for that person or person.

    In the normal run of things I have no time for Act or for David Seymour but in this instance I agree with this one bill. Overseas where assisted dying is legal it has not resulted in horrible children killing off their parents, and there is no reason why that should happen here. As responsible adult people we ought to be allowed to exercise our own choices without you, John Minto, or Christian people, or anyone else crying crocodile tears over us. Kia or a.

  22. Helena says:

    Let’s review David Seymour’s worthiness quarterly and, in the words of Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shaw, say to him Sir, would you be kind enough to justify your existence. Could we, just like the Fabians, take negative but humane action if his response is found wanting? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3lBdyFvPps
    Perhaps we should line them all up for a quarterly review and “culling”.
    My request to David Seymour rather than kill what is would be to concentrate on finding a solution to stop the indiscriminate killing of everything : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOugk8rBkyo

  23. simonm says:

    Much has been made of the Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero’s opposition to the “End-of Life” Choice Bill.

    However, nothing has been said about Tesoriero’s strong affiliation with the Catholic Church which has undoubtedly influenced her opinion on this issue.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Simonm: “nothing has been said about Tesoriero’s strong affiliation with the Catholic Church…”

      Explains so much, doesn’t it. Isn’t John Minto also a Catholic? I’m sure I remember that from many years ago. Bill English also, of course.

      • Michelle says:

        people are entitled to their opinions d estere just because they don’t agree with an issue doesn’t mean they don’t have right to say what they think and believe. At the moment is this the most pressing issue we have in our country.

  24. Rosalene Bradbury says:

    Sorry but on this I disagree with you John. The proposed bill has a number of safeguards. More than this – the spirit of the proposed bill is supported by most New Zealanders – ie we need legislation that allows people experiencing unbearable suffering in their own understanding, to die at a time of their choosing with their loved ones around them. It is disgraceful that – the unspoken open secret in this country – for generations people in this situation have had to die and by their own hand, secretly, and before they otherwise would have wanted, without support. Awful.

  25. Isabel J says:

    On 8 March, I emailed my MP (Andrew Bayly – so don’t hold out much hope!):

    “Please become knowledgeably informed about Cannabis by viewing & purchasing the docuseries “The Sacred Plant: Healing Secrets Exposed”.

    In my opinion, as a Member of Parliament, you have a duty to the NZ people to serve us from a position of knowledge – NOT IGNORANCE about this important-to-health issue. The Bill before Parliament DOES NOT SERVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF WE THE PEOPLE! As a (retd.) NZ Registered Nurse, who has lived for decades with the debilitating impact of Multiple Sclerosis (caused by mercury in vaccinations that I was given in 1958), I well know that easy, free access to cannabis (by being able to grow my own plants) would greatly aid my overall health, & free me from the constant pain in all parts of my body that is a major aspect of that terribly debilitating disease.

    It is imperative that you come to know & realise that all “pharmaceutical drugs” are toxic, poisonous chemicals THAT CURE NOTHING – THEY ONLY SUPPRESS SYMPTOMS.

    So long as the “health” ministry continues to waste millions of dollars on the purchase/distribution of these toxic, poisonous chemicals, so long will the numbers of people in New Zealand who live with chronic, degenerative diseases continue to increase.”

  26. Isabel J says:

    Apology re earlier post: Wrong Bill addressed!

  27. crissie says:

    I have been in the position mentioned by many admittedly it was when I was a very young child in 1947 but I am glad that was not the position that my parents took for me.
    I have since been in the situation where I have had a family member born extremely disabled and his parents did not take that position either they fought to keep him alive.
    I have also been in the position to take care of 2 terminally ill family members and for me it was a labour of love. They may have wished to be put down but I would not have wanted that as the time spent with them even though they were disabled was time that can never be recovered if they had been put down before the final end came and that was how I said it to them.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Crissie: “I have been in the position mentioned by many admittedly it was when I was a very young child in 1947 but I am glad that was not the position that my parents took for me.”

      You do understand, don’t you, that the provisions of Seymour’s proposed legislation could not have applied to you. You were a child: children cannot give consent.

      As John Minto notes above, this Bill provides the option for a terminally ill person who is suffering intolerably to get assistance to end his or her life in a dignified manner at a time of their choosing. It is the individual who is able to consent, who must choose this path. It isn’t open to children.

      Parents who have a newborn baby with multiple, questionably survivable disabilities, may elect not to permit any treatment for that baby. But that happens now, under the aegis of the current system of consent to healthcare.

      Also under our current system, terminally ill children over the age of about 12 can elect not to have any further treatment; but that is a very long way from the state of affairs envisaged by Seymour’s Bill.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Chrissie. I support End of Life Choice, for many reasons.

      I too was with a relative, my beautiful comatose sister dying too young from breast cancer in Australia. The nurse offered to up the morphine, but having ascertained that she was not in any pain, I declined, because I wanted to keep my dear sister with me for as long as I possibly could. It is a huge decision to have to make. I couldn’t do it.

      Partly as a result of this I later joined VES back here in NZ, to give me control over my end times, and to know how best to do this, as it is too big an ask for family members.

      There are much worse things than helping someone to sign off, and one of them is keeping someone alive against their will, when their life has become too intolerably painful to continue. Unfortunately, it happens.

  28. Graham Adams says:

    Philip Patston, who is disabled, wrote to the disability commissioner, to object to her public stance on behalf of the disabled community, which doesn’t represent him or many of his disabled friends. As he said in his affidavit in support of Lecretia Seales’ case, “We land in dangerous territory when we try to protect one group by denying the rights of another”.

    He wrote to the commissioner: “Your role is to ensure disabled people have the same choices as other Tangata o Aotearoa/New Zealanders. This needs to include the right to choose dignity in dying.”

  29. Geraldine Molloy says:

    Hi John

    I thought you may like to consider my friend En Chiu’s thoughtfull submission on David Seymour’s Bill:

    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/161fa016ab501fa3?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1

    En is a friend of mine since school days – she answers your points better than I can. I hold her living will and have only once been required to be on standby to have her life support turned off – luckily this was not necessary that time – I am hoping I have the guts to follow through if there is a next time.

    • Strypey says:

      Kia ora Geraldine, FYI this link is to your personal GMail account, and we can’t read it without your password. Is En Chiu’s submission available on a public website somewhere? If not, you could create an Etherpad (like a giant whiteboard in the sky) using a service like this and share the link to that pad with us:
      https://disroot.org/en/services/pads

  30. mosa says:

    State sponsored murder by the MP of the most extreme right wing neo liberal party in parliament.
    The fact that Seymour is pushing this SHOULD BE A WARNING to all decent , caring logical New Zealanders.

    GREED has no place in determining the murder of New Zealand citizens.

    DANGEROUS DANGEROUS DANGEROUS.

  31. Patsy Wakefield says:

    If the EOLC was just for those who have unbearable terminal illness then that might be satisfactory but it’s not. The same terms are used in Canadian legislation “chronic and irremiedial” and so makes it an option offered to disabled people. https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/health/the-solution-is-assisted-life-offered-death-terminally-ill-ont-man-files-lawsuit-1.3845190
    Assist us to live before assistung us to die. I am not religious but have lived with a chronic illness causing disability for over 20 years. And yes I have submitted against EOLC.