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End of Life Bill passes

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, November 14th, 2019 - 98 comments
Categories: act, david seymour, death with dignity, Parliament, Social issues, uncategorized - Tags:

David Seymour’s End of Life Bill passed through Parliament last night by 69 votes to 51.  We are now facing a referendum at the next election.  From Boris Jancic at the Herald;

Parliament has passed a bill legalising voluntary euthanasia in a historic vote, and turned the final decision on assisted dying over to the public.

Politicians on Wednesday night voted through Act leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill 69 votes to 51, after a debate ending two years of fierce political arguments about the legislation and decades of attempts to get reforms through the House.

It will now go to a public referendum alongside next year’s general election for a final test.

Since the bill – which would let terminally ill adults request assisted dying – was introduced in 2017, Seymour has devoted the bulk of his time to seeing the legislation through eight protracted parliamentary debates and a record 39,000 submissions from the public.

Speaking in Parliament, in front of a packed public gallery on Wednesday, Seymour implored his fellow MPs to give the bill backing one last time.

“I have listened to New Zealanders talk about their experiences from Kerikeri to Gore,” Seymour said.

“Overwhelmingly they have said to me: ‘I have seen bad death. If my time comes and I’m not doing well, I want choice. By the way, it’s nobody else’s business but my own’.”

The party breakdown was interesting.  The Greens and NZ First MPs voted for the bill in blocks.  Seymour naturally and Jami-Lee Ross supported the bill.

Among Labour MPs 13 opposed and 33 supported the bill.  National’s MPs broke 39 against and 16 in favour.

The Herald is reporting the result to be 69 to 51.  My calculation is that it is 68 to 52.  There might be something wrong with the Herald Table that I am using.

The effect on the next election will be interesting. I suspect that New Zealand First’s support for the bill as long as it went to referendum had one eye on the implications for turnout among its traditional supporters.

But congratulations to David Seymour for seeing the process through.  This has been a much better use of his time than dancing with the stars.

98 comments on “End of Life Bill passes ”

  1. ianmac 1

    I reckon that the fear mongering from people like Maggie Barry sounds just like the anti-vaccers. Are they interchangeable?

    • Lucy 1.1

      As someone who was impacted by the original bill I resent being called an anti vaxxer. I have a chronic neurological disease whose end point is locked in syndrome. It also manifests with depression which if untreated carries with it suicide thoughts. I jump on both sides of the argument as whilst I wish my life to continue I do not think I have the right to deny someone their own death. What concerns me is the amount of people who will think their death is best for their family and who will act on this. How many people have the "you wouldn't let your dog suffer like this" attitude. Most of this feeling is from the family who are reflecting their distress not necessarily the person dying. I want real palliative care and a health system and society that values me and will keep me as well as possible not encourage me to consider dying as an antidote to their discomfort with my illness.

      • JanM 1.1.1

        Very well said, Lucy. I share your concern for people who may feel they would, for the sake of their families, be better 'out of the way'.

        • David Mac 1.1.1.1

          Isn't that a family thing rather than a this legislation thing? Anyone that sees fit to lay a finger on my beautiful 90 year old life loving Dad will need to stomp over me.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.1.2

        Hiya Lucy. Thanks for your comment.

        Some will have forgotten that the original Bill ( as was being discussed with Lecretia Seales' widower this morning) had those with disabilities and chronic conditions in an extremely vulnerable position.

        I can't link right now but Natrad had a couple of articles featuring Disability Commissioner Paula Tesoreiro who went to some legnths to explain just how the original versions were….shit.

      • veutoviper 1.1.3

        Kia kaha Lucy. I understand where you are coming from. I too am liviig with a similar chronic syndrome of a degenerative nature including neurological but also affecting me across the board including depression etc. Like you, I have understanding/support for some views/perspectives from both sides of the fence of the voluntary euthanasia argument. IMO sufficient protections for the person concerned are paramount, and I am still not sure that the final Bill provides these although I support the right to choice in principle.

        Re ianmac – he is a very longstanding commenter here, one of the originals from memory, and I honestly don't think he actually understood the implications of his comment and probably now regrets his bad wording and horrified at the reactions to it. In his support, I have no recollection of him ever being personally abusive, crtically or similar towards anyone individually or collectively here on TS.

        • Dukeofurl 1.1.3.1

          Thanks for your input veuto, its always worth reading.

          • Anne 1.1.3.1.1

            I concur dukeofurl.

            I contemplated earlier responding to the attack on ianmac who certainly doesn't deserve it. Nor indeed the attacks on yourself in recent times. I was also targeted recently for reasonable (imo) comments that were misinterpreted by the attacker.

            There seems to be an attempt by a few 'holier than thou' types to undermine and insult other commenters because they happen to say something they don't agree with or disapprove of. More often than not they have misinterpreted the comment in the first place.

            • Karol121 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Could be a dissertation over word derivatives and conveniently interpreted context perhaps Anne.

              Sea shells, she sells on the see saw, etc.

              To the core subject matter or perhaps to the point:

              Society spends an enormous amount of time adopting the role of back seat "protector" of the lives of people who seem to be able to demonstrate that they can make an informed decision in relation to their own bodies and their (often very distressing) future on this planet.

              Sadly, the same sticky nose society (in this regard) that will close both eyes and allow for an elderly couple/person or mental health patient to make his/her "own choices" in relation to existence in the community to the point where little protections are even considered, let alone implemented.

              To the point where they are so often allowed to deteriorate to the point of terminal illness because they haven't crossed the i's or dotted the t's at some medical center or welfare office correctly, or cannot get there without being discouraged from other support center staff who tell them that they are wasting valuable time not taking public transport which may not even be available.

              Or, to the point where they are found decomposing in some small flat or apartment, days or weeks after death, consequence of their being left to "live out their lifestyle choice".

              Cruelly perhaps, I see the dark humor in most of this santimonious trash.

              Perhaps It helps to keep me (kind of) sane.

      • Lucy 1.1.4

        ianmac I was not attempting to denigrate yo, I was simply saying I resent the fact that you called people who may disagree with you anti vaxxers. To be honest I started out looking at who was sponsoring this bill and assuming that they were doing it for capitalist reasons – cheaper to allow people to die early rather than give them expensive palliative care. I still think there is an element of that for David Seymour, but I now believe I do not have the right to demand someone live. It is a personal thing and should be treated as such. But I also believe that when we go down this path we need to strengthen our care system. People need alternatives and because I am in pain it does not mean I want to die, it means I need proper pain relief that helps me live in comfort.

    • One Two 1.2

      I reckon that the fear mongering from people like Maggie Barry sounds just like the anti-vaccers. Are they interchangeable?

      To make comments such as that, you would need to understand the complex issues of legal euthanasia and the complex scientific, medical and biological issues with the vaccine industry and the severs problems caused.

      From your comment Ian, it can be concluded that your mind is simple binary.

      – Euthanasia good

      – Vaccines good

      – People who understand the complexities of euthanasia / policy – bad

      – People who understand the complexities of vaccines / policy – bad

      How else would you expect your question to be interpreted?

      Edit: In using the pejorative slur anti-vaccer you are denigrating and dismissing those who have been injured or worse by vaccines.
      You are dismissing scientists, researchers and those in the medical community, as well as the legal profession.

      Worst of all you are dismissing those parents around the world, who number in the millions, including so many in NZ, whose children have been harmed by vaccines.

      Those who use that pejorative are stating an absolute that vaccines have never hurt or killed or injured and single human being,

      You understand that’s what you’re doing here, right ?

      • RosieLee 1.2.1

        "Millions around the world"?

        Where is your evidence?

      • Tabletennis 1.2.2

        +100,
        Democracy is a difficult thing. There is still a vocal group that do not trust to give people body autonomy, nor trust their decisions on informed consent.

        Its pleasing that at least David Seymore carried this debate so gracefully, for this long, without to need to censor, banning or name calling.

      • Karol121 1.2.3

        I understand One Two, what appears to be your cynicism and criticism.

        But I suspect that it's not as simple as; "euthanasia good" for most people involved in the debate, or worse, faced with a very serious and sad personal decision of their own that they often have to make, with little support, or with bias.

        If it were an "all good" deliberation on euthanasia, this would be another real tragedy.

        Having mentioned this, as we see in society on a day by day basis, many people just set aside any interest in such arguments and debate, and suggest that we all; "just get on with our lives". This applies to whether it involves taking part in examining such serious issues and putting their viewpoint forward, or supporting whatever decision is finally arrived at simply because government says so. They're out and off to footy or the cricket, because it's somebody else's problem-unless or until it impacts them personally.

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.3

      Seriously ianmac?

      Shame on you. You have now graduated to the class of TS commenters that make this an unsafe place for some.

      And ditto what Lucy and JanM wrote.

      • One Two 1.3.1

        Shame on you. You have now graduated to the class of TS commenters that make this an unsafe place for some.

        A number of commentators and the reference materials they repeat and link to indicate likely membership to or affiliation with local and/or national skeptic groups.

        There is documented association from many of those from within MOH/IMAC and other agencies, who are the faces which receive the majority of media time on issues related to public health and policy.

        These same health agency people repeatedly speak at skeptic events and receive awards from skeptic societies.

        Ians comment can be interpreted as coming directly out the skeptic parrot play book.

        [There’s nothing in ianmac’s comment(s) to “indicate likely membership to or affiliation with local and/or national skeptic groups” or that it/they “can be interpreted as coming directly out the skeptic parrot play book”. Presumably, your ‘interpretation’ stems from his use of the term “anti-vaccers” @ 1. The OP and comments are not about vaccination per se and you have been warned yesterday to stop hijacking threads with your anti-vaccination hobbyhorse and leave this to OM. Your comments here muddy the already murky waters and I have no time nor patience to put you in moderation to monitor your comments. Your commenting privilege is withdrawn for two weeks – Incognito]

        • ianmac 1.3.1.1

          There is debate of course over tis issue. But when extreme views are used to scare people one way or another I object. Extreme views are put forward by some anti-vaxxers and if accepted, deny or deter those who would otherwise benefit. My friend shot himself as the cancer ate him away. He exercised choice but in a very sad undignified way. I have sympathy for those who endure terrible diseases as above, but think that they deserve the right to choose and should not be denied that by misinformation, lies and distortions.

          Not sure how my comment above can be viewed as some say. I just object to the scare tactics by some.

          • observer 1.3.1.1.1

            I was on the fence (mostly because the legislation has to be watertight, it's not a simple Yes/No like capital punishment or marriage equality).

            But Maggie Barry helped to push me into the "Yes" camp. I'd say "fear mongering" is exactly what it was, and it backfired badly.

          • adam 1.3.1.1.2

            Your the extremist by having the state involved in killing.

            • ianmac 1.3.1.1.2.1

              If I was sitting on the fence adam I would not be at all impressed with your labelling as "state involved in killing."

              • adam

                What does your comment even mean? I'm suppose to appeal to your feelings now, rather than facts?

                The fact is you want the state to kill. That just reality of your extreme position.

          • Sabine 1.3.1.1.3

            +1

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.3.1.1.4

            Congratulations ianmac…you've planted your stake firmly in the ground and you'll be counted amongst those on ' the right side of history' on this issue. Whew! What a relief!

            Trouble is…1. Our national disgrace of our suicide statistics.

            What is it with Kiwis and killing ourselves? That there seems to be this culture of opting out when the going gets really tough and there seems no hope….surely we can do better?

            2. We have a really, really inequitable health system and a discriminatory disability system, and a truly progressive and kind government would have sorted these issues before rolling out the red carpet of physician assisted suicide.

            Especially when some physicians are already telling some disabled people that 'treating your disease when you have an existing disability would just prolong your suffering…'

            Guess who determines if you meet the six month threshold?

            These fears are real and are a daily fact of life for some.

        • Incognito 1.3.1.2

          See my Moderation note @ 10:47 AM.

    • gsays 1.4

      C'mon Ianmac, get with the program.

      It's pro-plauger if you want to play the emotive card.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.5

      I personally support regulated voluntary euthanasia, but there are definitely valid arguments and concerns on both sides. Anti-vax, however, is 99.999% bullshit, IMHO.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.6

      I personally support regulated voluntary euthanasia, but there are definitely valid arguments and concerns on both sides. Anti-vax, however, is 99.999% anti-science bullshit, IMHO.

      • xanthe 1.6.1

        you people with your "anti-vax" crap are so far out of line its unbelievable

        what a bunch of ignorant bigoted evangelists you are!

        there are thinking people who have genuine concerns about the manufacture and procurement of vaccines in the current race to the bottom medicine for money commercial gestalt.

        grow up!

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    Well done David Seymour.

    Never in my life will I even consider voting for ACT, but he should be proud of himself. The majority of MPs on both sides of the House come and go without ever achieving much at all. This guy will forever have this achievement on his CV.

    • Naki man 2.1

      "Well done David Seymour"

      Well done Enough is Enough for being in a small minority of lefties who is not a bigot and not scared to give credit where credit is due.

      • observer 2.1.1

        I'd suggest that calling a large majority of lefties bigots is … pretty damn bigoted.

        Note: that's not "all/most righties". Just you. Based on evidence (which you provided), that's how it works.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    I guess Mr Seymour’s staunch commitment to this Bill is the ultimate existential expression of ACT’s “Me me me–mine mine mine” philosophy–extending individual agency and “personal responsibility” to the deathbed itself…

    He is such a nerd and general pest, but well done in this case David…of course he could not help himself, commenting that “it is time Maggie (Barry) went back to the garden…”

    • tc 3.1

      Maggie never left the garden that's born to rule over the great unwashed.

      Easy target there Davey boy but well played sir, a worthwhile effort seeing this trough.

  4. millsy 4

    Well, Seymour's backers in Epsom will sleep soundly knowing their retirement nest eggs will not be raided to fund socialised health care for the terminally ill (or their benefits).

    The National party is dripping hyporcrisy, feigning concern about the sick and terminally ill, when they are perfectly happy to cut their benefits and let them languish in motels, boarding houses and their cars after bumping them from state house waiting lists.

    And dont get me started about the increase in prescrprtion charges.

  5. veutoviper 5

    Calling Mickysavage

    "The Herald is reporting the result to be 69 to 51. My calculation is that it is 68 to 52. There might be something wrong with the Herald Table that I am using."

    I am interested as to why you think the vote was 68/52. And who.

    The Herald result numbers are as per the draft Hansard for last night's vote. (Draft was up on the Parliament website in about an hour after the 3rd Reading ended. Well done to them. )

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20191113_20191113_16

    I have followed the progress of the Bill closely and watched most speeches and debates, with a particular interest in swing voters and why. Have analysed/documented swings and swing voters for 1st and 2nd Readings, but yet to complete final votes for Committee stage and 3rd Reading. Hope to do this in the near future but have other personal priorities currently – but will post the results here when I have completed them.

    Please note that my interest is purely personal; not intended to identify individuals/Parties for criticism, blame etc. For example, Carmel Sepuloni's speech last night as to why she changed her vote to support the Bill was thought provoking in relation to why she initially opposed as much as why she then decided to support it; and gained her a lot of respect etc from me – and probably many others who saw it.

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/WatchParliament/VideoDetail/209930

    For anyone interested, here is a link to list of all videos of last night's speeches on the Bill. There were many other good speeches and others that are best left unmentioned, but an excellent source to get a feel for where some MPs are coming from on a personal rather than from a Party basis.

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20191113_20191113_16/tab/video?criteria.Keyword=End+of+Life+Choice+Bill&criteria.Timeframe=range&criteria.DateFrom=2019-11-13&criteria.DateTo=2019-11-13&criteria.VideoSubject=&criteria.VideoPeople=&criteria.VideoStage=

    • weka 5.1

      I just learned from that that Sepuloni is an evangelical Christian.

      While I find her perspective on Pacifica culture interesting, there's an issue here having the Minister in charge of the wellbeing for many disabled and ill people and the state being woefully inadequate in that regard, also now supporting euthanasia. This is conflict of interest territory.

      • veutoviper 5.1.1

        Wow, weka. Your comment is a loaded one in so many respects because the same/similar conflicts of interest could/would apply to so many other/all Ministers – and probably all plus all MPS in the House – from so many different angles.

        That is not criticism on my part – just my initial reaction was what a whole enormous topic (cannot find the right word ) we could explore. Sorry, need to shower, get ready for an important medical appointment this afternoon but will think more on this. In fact, a great one to take my mind off the worries associated with the appointment. By the way I am one of those disabled and ill people myself, and have been disabled in two respects for life but are now dealing with more in my older age as I mentioned at 1.1.3 above. Please note the other views I have made there re the Bill.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          Would be interested to hear what you thinking about conflicts of interest with the other MPs/Ministers.

          I'm technically in favour of people having the right to choose to die, but there are huge problems with trying to do that in a country that still treats disabled people badly, and where the centre left government is neglecting disabled people and/or being outright prejudicial at some very fundamental survival levels (income, disability support). This is such a no brainer to me that I can only assume the people who support the Bill are either ignorant of the reality or think the trade offs are warranted.

          • veutoviper 5.1.1.1.1

            Agree up to your last sentence. Look forward to discussing more,

          • Sabine 5.1.1.1.2

            wow : This is such a no brainer to me that I can only assume the people who support the Bill are either ignorant of the reality or think the trade offs are warranted.

            or maybe its just that people who support the bill are not afraid of the state or their families killing them off just because they are ill, or disabled.

            Cause that is my understanding that i take away from this. And maybe just maybe think about that first before maligning those that support this bill.

            • weka 5.1.1.1.2.1

              "or maybe its just that people who support the bill are not afraid of the state or their families killing them off just because they are ill, or disabled."

              Of course, but that fits into the ignorance of reality category. That lots of people are unafraid of something doesn't mean that others are wrong for being afraid of the thing.

              If people want to say they support the Bill even though there is a risk to vulnerable people, I will respect that honesty even though I disagree with the ethics. If people are saying there is no risk, then I will challenge their knowledge.

              The upshot of my comment is that we can have better End of Life legislation if we give disabled/ill people the support they need. So why aren't people agitating for that? That's the elephant in the living room. We still largely hate people on welfare, and many are ignorant, dismissive, or unaware of disability issues generally. This is a very bad mix with euthanasia legislation.

      • Jilly Bee 5.1.2

        Maybe, just maybe Weka, Carmel canvassed the opinions of her constituents and voted accordingly. Just because one identifies with a particular faith, it shouldn't preclude them from having a contrary opinion to what is 'expected' from them. I classify myself as a progressive and inclusive Christian and have been reading comments from MPs and commenters with interest and in some cases utter despair. I personally feel that I would like to have the ability to be able to make an informed decision if and when the time comes. In the meantime, I live life to the fullest – despite the usual vagaries of advancing years with a few aches and pains. I consider myself extremely lucky.

        • weka 5.1.2.1

          Did you listen to the speech?

          I'm good with Carmel the MP listening to and representing her constituents. Her speech sounded more like her personal journey, but either way this is in conflict with her duty as Minister for Social Development, and Disability.

          I don't have a problem with people of faith being MPs or a Minister, but she brought up the evangelical issue in a highly contentious debate and it leaves me wondering if her being evangelical is part of her approach to welfare just unacknowledged. That's separate to the EoL Bill, sorry I put the two things in the same comment.

  6. Paul Campbell 6

    This is important, I have personal experience, when my Mum was a ways down the long tunnel that is a terminal cancer diagnosis she asked my to help her when the time had come, she was terrified of being stuck in a world filled with of agony, what can you say in that situation? of course I said "yes" I would help her.

    Luckily for me that time never came, she passed away quietly, and I was off the hook – but I want to make sure that no one's ever put in the situation I was again. My Mum had an absolute right to make her own decision about the end of her life, and those who would help her in her time of need should be held blameless

    • Phil 6.1

      I agree with you 100%. I've sat helplessly by and watched both my father die of cancer and my father in law die after god-knows how many strokes. In both cases, those last days were a waking nightmare for everyone involved. They're painful and needless and it's simply cruel to leave a person suffering when the only outcome is so obvious.

  7. observer 7

    Parliament did a good job last night. I'm not especially pro-the bill, especially the referendum requirement, but MPs have clearly given it plenty of thought, as often happens with so-called conscience votes.

    The list of MPs for/against makes interesting reading. It's a useful reminder that we shouldn't be too quick to make assumptions and pigeon-hole MPs because of party affiliation.

  8. adam 8

    State sanctioned murder has now extended beyond war – if that was not bad enough.

    • Sabine 8.1

      care to explain how the state is murdering anyone?

      oh, right, can't die before god is done playing with you right? No matter who sadistic god my be? Right?

      • Grafton Gully 8.1.1

        So who pays the bill ? Euthanasia insurance could be the answer or a state subsidy. It will be expensive if a doctor specialising in euthanasia does the job and then there are the drug and equipment costs and possibly counselling for the candidate, family and other players. Would be good to liaise with the funeral director too – pick a mutually suitable time – and the funeral director might offer it as a pre-death service – although would create a conflict of interest. Timetabling birth is commonplace, so why not death ?

      • adam 8.1.2

        Blah blah usual from Sabine – change the attack line because you got nothing. So dishonest – but then again I'm not surprised.

        Go kill yourself, I have no problem with that – just don't ask the state to get involved.

        That is not exactly Doctrine nor a dogmatic position is it – but then again you only hear what you want to hear – please add more lies to make yourself feel better Sabine – if it helps that is.

        But good try on your usual misrepresentation.

    • Incognito 8.2

      You obviously disagree with the Bill, which is fine. However, I find your comment is emotive and misleading.

      Murder is the premeditated, deliberate, and unlawful killing of another person. So, IMO you comment already fails on two counts.

      Murder further implies an involuntary act with regard to the victim. This is the third count on which your comments falls over, IMO.

      • weka 8.2.1

        although technically the unlawful bit doesn't apply if the state changes a law to make a certain kind of death lawful.

        (I disagree with adam here, just pointing to the inherent problem of the state's role in death and laws).

        • Incognito 8.2.1.1

          Agreed. However, without having to make comparisons with war, withholding medical treatment and/or administering medication as part of palliative care (mainly pain relief) that could potentially influence the time of death are common in medical practice and legal.

          The Bill is not sanctioning killing of one person by another person. Death, kill, and murder are different things and too easily used interchangeably when they shouldn’t IMO.

          The Bill is based on voluntary action and personal choice.

          How these things work (out) in practice is one thing but to colour things by personal bias is another.

          • weka 8.2.1.1.1

            quite agree. Murder is an intentional choice of word designed to skew the debate.

            • Incognito 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Some people might not even realise they are doing it, i.e. using the word and skewing the debate towards their personal preference. First, one should state their preference, and then they should use their words wisely so that others are also allowed and feel free and encouraged to speak up and state theirs. Commenters should feel included and safe, not (a)shamed, bullied, ridiculed or otherwise discouraged from debating a sensitive issue that affects all of us, sooner or later.

      • adam 8.2.2

        State sanctioned killing – is that better.

        Like war, people dying at the hands of the state is inherently abhorrent.

        I'm not arguing against people killing themselves – quite happy for them to do that – just against the state getting involved in that process.

        • weka 8.2.2.1

          what about people with disabilities who are not physically capable of suiciding without assistance?

          • adam 8.2.2.1.1

            Who are you thinking of? A old mate of mine who was a tetraplegic, he commited suicide. Just needed to learn how to do it. Didn't need the state to take his life, nor did he inflict it upon anyone else to get involved.

            My issue is with state involvement – a state which has an appalling record in relationship to the Disabled, Māori, Elderly and for the last 40 odd years has preformed constant violent attacks on the poor.

            This law will continue that process – just under the guise of helping.

            • solkta 8.2.2.1.1.1

              When my mother was dying of a brain tumour she couldn't even eat or take a shit without assistance. She was a Christian and very strong willed and would not have chosen this option, but had she asked i would have taken jail time to end her suffering. I find your attitude offensive as you are just avoiding the point.

              • adam

                Be offended. This is not an argument about feelings but facts.

                The state has no place in killing people in any guise. If you think it does, then you need to take a long hard look at yourself.

                edit: I see you have no empathy for the poor, disabled, elderly, nor Māori in your comment.

                Which is pretty common now on this site – which I find quite offensive, but I’ll live with being offended by middle class wankery – I take it as a given.

  9. Andre 9

    Yay. Hopefully we'll now see the general public choosing end the practice of state-required end-of-life torture of some of those whose very unpleasant passing is inevitably very close and meet other strictly defined conditions that prefer a controlled dignified end.

  10. David Mac 10

    After leaping in early, I've read the comments to date.

    Geeez, I hate the paling up my bottom but I just can't get off the fence.

  11. David Mac 11

    The natural response to a bill introduced by an ACT member is to consider what's in it for them I don't think Seymour's motivations are any more clandestine than political survival. A reason to be.

    That makes him guilty of being a politician. So from a moral view, I don't think Seymour is grinding an axe. He is pushing a conversation we've decided to have.

    I've had my heartstrings stretched by arguments from both sides, it rocks my equilibrium to contemplate the issue in depth.

    When I arrive there in my personal world, I leave things as they are until a clear path becomes apparent.

    • solkta 11.1

      Actually Seymour has my respect for pushing this one so consistently. Liberty is what Act is supposed to be about and it is refreshing for them to actually back this with policy rather their usual authoritarian bullshit.

  12. Drowsy M. Kram 12

    Legislating for state-assisted dying will have majority public support in the upcoming national referendum – reckon more 'popular' than legalising the personal use of cannabis!

    The restrictive nature of the assisted dying legislation (informed by experiences of other jurisdictions, and subject to on-going fine-tuning)) will minimise the risk of harmful effects.

    A potential concern is the effect the legislation might have on the mental health of those (of any age) who already worry that they are a burden to whoever and/or whatever.

    "Some are afraid – and want empathy. They may be stifling their own numerous fears: leaving loved ones, losing control, becoming a burden, and leaving tasks and plans unfinished. Many people dread a painful death or the reflected fears of others. Sharing such fears and expressing beliefs about death can help people feel less overwhelmed and alone. It can also diminish physical pain, which is aggravated by fear."

  13. michelle 13

    see -mores new name = doctor death

  14. Ant 14

    Diagnosed with kidney failure in 2011 my health declined steadily over the next five years until 2016 when I commenced dialysis with kidney function at 6%. A range of symptoms (too numerous and boring to mention) had made life pretty intolerable. Anticipating a time (in old age – I’m already 73) when dialysis would become a severe burden I drew up a document (back in 2011) endorsing my support for euthanasia and had it signed/witnessed by a Justice of the Peace. Anti-euthanasia would say ‘stop dialysis, rely on palliative care and let the disease take its course.’ Why? I’ve been there, I know what it feels like to be dying of kidney disease. Why repeat it as a drawn out spiral of suffering?

    • adam 14.1

      What planet are you on to say anti-euthanasia people would say stop treatment.

      How truly disingenuous, dishonest and pile of stinking crap.

      • The Al1en 14.1.1

        You're being more obnoxious than usual in this thread. Twice, when responding to real people with real health issues, you've come out with offensive ramblings not befitting of this topic or place in general.

        It seems quite clear you haven't read the bill, nor the wherewithal to grasp the purpose of it. If you had, you'd know there are no clauses to kill poor people, cripples or the mentally ill. Enough with the slogans and angry Adam routine, it's sad and tedious.

        • adam 14.1.1.1

          Go kill yourself – I'm not stopping you. Don't read what I say – I'm not stopping you. Go attack the poor somewhere else – I'm not stopping you . Keep pretending your a lefty – I'm not stopping you

          • The Al1en 14.1.1.1.1

            Your ignorance isn't a defence anymore than attempting to set the narrative makes it truthful. It's evident, to me at least, your lack of capacity in understanding this issue has you all over the place and I guess for you, it's easier to play the little big man than address the needs of some people to depart this world with a smidgen of respect and dignity.

            You could learn much from those men and women.

            • adam 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Your ability to be already always listening, reminds me of my two year old nephew. He stamps his feet and plays at indignation too. Funny how you can't see anyone's opinion but your own. Nor are you willing to. Explains a lot about you really – no wonder you call people names and act like a troll so often.

              Oh I get your point, you are just to arrogant, smug and up yourself to get mine. So as I said, feel free to kill yourself – with dignity if that your concern – I'm not stopping you. Just don't ask the state to.

              Incoming more abuse from the a1len, because he can't handle any other opinions which 'ant in his conservative mindset…

              • The Al1en

                That's where you're wrong, I get your point, I just think it's sloganeering nonsense made in a very immature way, and one that totally ignores the wishes of terminally ill people who don't want their last six months on this planet to be in insufferable pain or dosed up to the eyeballs on morphine.

                The facts of the matter are, in this particular thread, you have behaved very poorly to those offering personal stories whilst rattling off poisoned cliches such as state sanctioned murder and the state killing people. As I wrote earlier, I'm quite sure you're not capable of understanding the bill, and your posts are evidential of this.

                Politically, as shown by parliament's vote, you are in a minority, as you are popularly, according to recent polling, but at least you still have the option of voting in the referendum should you want to participate in the democratic process this time.

                As it stands, out of the two peoples votes in 2020, I'm more likely at the moment to support this than the cannabis one, mainly because the work has been done in committee and we know what we're getting and how it will work. So there's an incentive for you to go to the polling booth – cancel out my vote if you want to. 🙂

                • adam

                  No you don't get my point, as you went straight to abusing me rather than address it.

                  Childish and narrow minded as always.

                  As I said in pass posts – utterly pointless discussing anything with you as you have no ability to engage any other opinion apart from your own narrow conservative worldview.

                  • The Al1en

                    Hey, you can justify what ever you want to, and think you've got a winning hand if you like, but I reckon most people would agree you've been an arse in this topic.

                    Ultimately you'll just have to accept the will of the people now.

                    • adam

                      Yes I am an arse on this topic, I've acknowledged and made no excuse for that.

                      As for you not realising your being a complete arsehole, is once again bewildering as it is funny.

                      Good luck trying to start a flame war with someone else – as that your normal modus operandi on this site.

                      Thus end any more comments to you, you utterly fake lefty.

                      [Enough of your insults and insensitivity. You have been warned and banned previously for the same behaviour. Take the weekend off – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 6:39 PM.

                    • The Al1en

                      If being an arsehole is calling you out for acting like an arse to people sharing personal stories, without an inkling as to what you're actually teenage sloganeering over, I suspect it's not the first time and I'm probably in good company.

                      The referendum must be a total dilemma for you. The power to democratically halt the bill with your tick, but to do so, or campaign for a no vote, belies that "change the system" nonsense pre 2017 election.

      • Ant 14.1.2

        Stopping dialysis treatment is a known method of passive euthanasia, – no different to withdrawing life support as in the case of persons nearing their end and happy to call it quits. For the elderly continuing dialysis can become a severe burden as I witnessed during training for home dialysis, especially when having to travel to a far away center for treatment by shuttle 3 times a week.

        • adam 14.1.2.1

          So how does that fit with your comment, anti-euthanasia would say stop treatment comment?

          I'd call stopping dialysis treatment passive suicide, as your not asking anyone to assist you in your death, not passive euthanasia. As euthanasia is asking someone else to take responsibility for your death – hence why I call it killing/murder.

          Yes I know people are upset by my saying murder – but there is a level of premeditation in euthanasia for me to feel comfortable using the term, and I don't care if you're offended. At this point in the debate stupid has won, and we will be living in a society where the state has the active ability to kill it's citizens.

          • David Mac 14.1.2.1.1

            If the state decides, it is murder.

            The primary decision-maker needs to be the person saying 'goodbye.' Supported by an intensive family contribution and professionals of the departee/family's choosing.

            Hopefully we will set the requirements for a "yes" very high.

            Much of the fear seems to revolve around imagined inhumane behaviour. 'Arrange another bed in the hospice by leaving frail Mary's room heater off.' etc. That potential exists today and such an act would be as illegal as it is today.

    • veutoviper 14.2

      Ant – I totally understand where you are coming from and want to discuss this with you further but have to get out. I am sure that I don't need to suggest that you ignore Adam if you have read all of his comments on this post (and others). His attitude and abuse does not represent the vast majority of us here. Will reply further hopefully later today or over the weekend, kia kaha

      • adam 14.2.1

        I don't play nice, true veutoviper.

        As I don't want to be associated with many of the fake leftists, beige tards, who comment on this site. I actually give a crap about Disabled, Māori, Elderly and the Poor. And the rights of people – which is somthing truly lacking here these days.

  15. Tabletennis 15

    What I think I know about the assisted dying bill:

    ONLY available to people with a terminal illness, with 6 or less months to live

    ONLY if you are of sound mind – needs an medical assessment – 3-4 weeks?

    ONLY if you have jumped through several hopes , not once but twice – needs medical assessment – 5-8 weeks?

    at best you receive assistant dying, to relieve your pain and giving back some kind of control. So on average in the last 13 weeks of your life.

    And people are sitting on the fence on this… .because they do not trust giving people body autonomy, nor trust their decisions on informed consent.

  16. Simply shooting from the hip I am against it. It seems ironic at a time when we have one of the worst statistics in youth ( and not so young ) suicides we get this Bill passing. Im sure those of a certain bent in govts dont object to the huge savings in healthcare either. I see it as the start of the slippery slope,… despite the suffering of people, I realize… but still.. and yes we do know that decisions are made to turn off life support, yet in my sons case, … I noticed certain things done in Starship that hastened his death due to his condition…and then was asked to give consent to administering a lethal morphine shot.

    I refused.

    And I couldnt help thinking that a decision was made in the back rooms to 'pass this one over'… despite him for 8 years being the pin up poster boy for survival…

    And whats to stop the children of a remaining parent who want to speed up their inheritance and who they dont necessarily like that much from encouraging the process…

  17. marty mars 17

    A good article on some real fears that people have.

    On Wednesday night, New Zealand MPs voted to adopt the end of life choice bill despite any number of warnings that it is a dangerous piece of work. It is risky to disabled people and unsafe to all.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/14/new-zealands-euthanasia-bill-is-a-step-into-the-unknown-for-disabled-people

  18. David Mac 18

    Funerals have evolved into a coming together to celebrate a loved one's life. Not so long ago they were a reason to come together and mourn, some widows obliged to wear black until they die.

    If it was me facing death in a few weeks, the thought of a send off celebration and being there to say goodbye appeals. I don't spose it's legal to push me and the burning last boat I'll make out on to Doubtless Bay…

    • David Mac 18.1

      If I know my pals like I think I do I suspect they'd surmise "Blow the law, Mac will have his Viking funeral…we'll need a post party clean-up of military precision."

  19. David Mac 19

    "Yeah, he's going to burn really good. We'll struggle to recover remnants,…the snapper are spawning…Mac timed it like that. He took a fair toll on their population, utu."

  20. David Mac 20

    Of all of our possessions our most precious must be life. Without that, we've got nothing.

    It's not the homeless, crime levels, pay parity or any of those other catalysts we kick around. Being alive is #1.

    Life, circulating oxygen and firing up neurons, it's as fundamental as it gets.

    I wonder if most of us involved in this national discussion love being alive and the thought of being otherwise is seducing us towards a misguided heartfelt position. A natural response…. "Death? Fuck that!"

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