Legal Abortion, Legal Cannabis and Legal Euthanasia – why one is not the same as the other two

By   /   October 9, 2018  /   13 Comments

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It really says something about us as a nation that euthanasia is currently being seriously debated while cannabis reform is not. In New Zealand with a skyrocketing suicide rate, we will allow you to chose to kill yourself if you are in pain, but we won’t allow you to smoke a joint if you are in pain.  

I support legal abortion, I support legal cannabis, I will never support legal euthanasia. The reason for that is because I believe the first two can be regulated safely and that the current abortion and cannabis laws create vast injustices that are unacceptable in a progressive democracy.

The reason I can not support euthanasia however is because I don’t believe it can be regulated safely and because if made legal, it would create vast injustices by the State.

Let’s start with the first two.

Abortion needs to be made legal now. If a woman decides she wants a medical procedure to remove a foetus, then that’s between her and her dr, no one else, end of bloody story! The idea that I as a male would have to jump through some bullshit hoops to get a medical procedure because I wasn’t trusted emotionally to make the decision all on my own is the most outrageously  condescending nonsense in the world!

It’s a womens body, if she wishes as an individual to end a clump of cells growing into a baby with all the responsibilities and pressures that entails, then so be it! It’s no one else’s business.

Let’s move on and appreciate the self created madness that is synthetic cannabis.

-First politicians legalise synthetics.
-Then they are too gutless to impose the agreed testing regime
-Then they ban it & drive it underground to kill 50 a year

And why? All because we won’t legalise the real thing.

The 7000 people arrested for cannabis each year, the control and power it gives gangs, the taxation a regulated market could provide and the eradication of the synthetic market – all of these are logical reasons to legalise, that we are behind so many other countries on this front now is an embarrassment.  

Abortion and cannabis can be safely regulated and allowing the current systems to stand create injustice.

So why don’t I believe that with euthanasia?

When I look at the horror our mental health system, prison system & welfare systems have become for the most vulnerable via chronic underfunding & indifferent staff – I fear how euthanasia will mutate in that cruel environment.

The way we treat the mentally ill, suicide victims, prisoners, the elderly and the poor with such contempt makes me believe that state sanctioned euthanasia will quickly become a means for pushing the poor to end their lives sooner.

Look at the way CYFS abuse children in its care.

Look at the way mental health services shrug off their responsibilities for the suicide rates.

Look at how Housing NZ don’t care about toddlers in freezing homes.

Look at how the Ministry of Development simply shoves people into motels.

Look at how WINZ torment rape victims and trap beneficiaries into debt.

It should surprise no one that it is ACT who is driving this movement. Euthanasia fits perfectly well within the far rights belief of individualism above all and the efficiency of the market to eradicate cost.

The loop holes available in this legislation means it is only a matter of time before someone is pushing to expand their definition for cost cutting measures.

It has happened before, in the 1990s the National Government were caught putting together health boards whose target was to deny health services to anyone who was deemed too costly to continue medical care for.

The National Party were actively and secretly looking for ways to disqualify the sick and vulnerable from state health care. If they were prepared to do it when euthanasia was illegal in the 1990s, imagine how quickly they will begin to pressure hospitals to start euthanasia as a cost cutting measure if it becomes legal?

We know how poorly Corrections look after the welfare of prisoners. We know how badly CYFs looks after children in their care. We know how damaging Housing NZ, WINZ and the Ministry of Development treat beneficiaries.

So what would stop Government agencies applying the same disregard for the poor and sick if euthanasia is passed?

Euthanasia can’t be safely regulated because when we look at how the state treat the weakest amongst us right now, you would be a fool to believe they wouldn’t use legal euthanasia as a means to save costs.

It really says something about us as a nation that euthanasia is currently being seriously debated while cannabis reform is not. In New Zealand with a skyrocketing suicide rate, we will allow you to chose to kill yourself if you are in pain, but we won’t allow you to smoke a joint if you are in pain.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Graham Adams says:

    Martyn, your views on assisted dying/euthanasia might be able to be taken seriously if the practice wasn’t well established in countries such as the US (Oregon has had assisted dying laws since 1997) and Switzerland. Canada has recently joined those who permit assisted dying, as has Victoria in Australia. Parliamentary inquiries by the Canadian Supreme Court, Victoria, and in the past year in WA in a cross-party forum have shown fears such as yours to be groundless. Much of the current debate by opponents in NZ is run as if there is no body of international evidence to refer to. Under David Seymour’s bill, a person can only ask for and receive aid in dying if they request it and if they are of sound mind. “Voluntary” is the key word in these discussions.

    • The Daily Blog Martyn says:

      Graham, you must have missed the part of the blog where I detailed the National Party’s attempt in the 1990s to set up a death committee who actively aimed to cost rationalise health by submitting kill lists. You are claiming that didn’t happen and that Jenny Shipley didn’t attempt that. Why the need to re-write history to get your euthanasia bill through?

      • Graham Adams says:

        Martyn, I have read your article in its entirety (and also the link to Selwyn Manning’s piece). That was a very nasty attempt at compulsory triage by Shipley (and thank you for drawing attention to it again) but my point is that David Seymour’s bill (and Peter Brown’s bill in 2003) turn on the VOLUNTARY request of a person wanting an assisted death. Shipley’s recommendations, of course, were to be imposed, not requested. Doctors are already assisting people to die at their request (and at great risk to their liberty and careers). I believe a law change would take it out of the shadows and bring the practice into the light for the benefit of both patient and doctor.

        • Sam Sam says:

          Desperate medical technology will only become more in demand as the health system buckles under the weight of an increasing elderly population. This isn’t assisted medical treatment. This is surrender.

    • Chris O'Brien says:

      Oh Ok, I suppose that the recent move by Canada to now expand euthanasia for children is no problem for you. I notice you make no mention of the hundreds of countries around the world that reject the abomination of euthanasia.

  2. Michelle says:

    It seems odd that some people in NZ think its alright for someone to end their life but not alright for some people to enjoy a good smoke of marijuana while they are alive and well fucken hypocrites. People should never feel pressured to end their life and this is a major issue for euthanasia some people may feel they have become a burden when they should never be made to feel like this.

  3. Graham Adams says:

    Martyn, I have read your article in its entirety (and also the link to Selwyn Manning’s piece). That was a very nasty attempt at compulsory triage by Shipley (and thank you for drawing attention to it again) but my point is that David Seymour’s bill (and Peter Brown’s bill in 2003) turn on the VOLUNTARY request of a person wanting an assisted death. Shipley’s recommendations, of course, were to be imposed, not requested. Doctors are already assisting people to die at their request (and at great risk to their liberty and careers). I believe a law change would take it out of the shadows and bring the practice into the light for the benefit of both patient and doctor.

    • The Daily Blog Martyn says:

      And my counter Graham is that if we look at the sadistic manner in which the Government currently treat prisoners, beneficiaries, mental health patients and the elderly in shitty retirement slums, it is only a matter of time isn’t it before some bureaucrat in Wellington thinks that a really good cost cutting regime would be an advertising campaign for the sick and the poor to be aware that voluntary euthanasia is an option – NOT TO PRESSURE THEM OF COURSE GRAHAM (wink, wink, nudge nudge), but just to educate them about their options, and before you start complaining about my analogy, why would you try and stop an education campaign Graham? Surely the sick and the weak and the poor have the same right to be informed of their voluntary options as the rich alpha personality types who currently demand the right to end their lives because their pride refuses to allow another to help them when they are that ill and sick – and if you can’t see how quickly that would occur you are giving the State far too much credit.

  4. Shona says:

    I don’t disagree with either side of the argument here. BUT the medical profession needs to be cut some slack. They have to be legally protected. Define voluntary for the octogenarian who can no longer drive, has a mortgage free home early stage dementia , hasn’t and will not appoint power of attorney and offspring who all reside outside of NZ? As Michelle rightly points out people WILL be pressured and no one can assume it will never happen in their own whanau.

    • Cagey says:

      Stop calling it euthanasia, call it assisted suicide instead and make it a legal issue: you draw up a legal contract with a lawyer (with the ‘sound mind etc’ clause) and are given the means to commit your own suicide. Take the burden off the medical profession (“first do no harm”) and onto the individual. Like with any suicide if someone really want it they’ll do it. Family, etc would find it much harder to pressure a lawyer into doing there bidding.

  5. Lucy says:

    Martyn this time I agree. I have a chronic disease that will over time reduce my ability to communicate my wishes, but according to the ACT proposals I will be able to end my life at any time, just not have the drug that would keep me pain free.

  6. gsays says:

    While not denying the state’s cruelty, I think the bigger threat to the vulnerable will come from within their family or from the frail themselves.

    As a society we seem to be becoming more selfish and afflicted with entitlitus.
    As was pointed out above, the elderly, remote from their family, their world getting smaller.
    They and the community around them have forgotten how to live, and we want to ramp up access to death.