- Date published:
9:48 am, April 3rd, 2019 - 210 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, david seymour, death with dignity, Deep stuff, discrimination, Parliament, Politics, Social issues - Tags: David Seymour, Euthenasia, right to choose
Imagine for a moment that you’re laying in bed, the sun slices a thin wedge through a dim curtained room. You feel its warmth on your face as it whispers of summer days filled with laughter and joy.
You open your eyes only to feel searing pain as the light burns as though it was a flame. You lift your arm to shield your eyes and the pressure of your bones against your flesh ignites pain so extreme even morphine is powerless to dull it.
You are dying; a slow, agonising degenerative death that will see you trapped in endless pain for years and there’s nothing you can do about it because others have decided you must live, no matter what.
Euthanasia is up for debate and it astounds me that people are focused on whether it should be legal rather than figuring out how we can offer a humane exit plan that has robust safeguards against misuse.
The End of Life Choice Bill, a private members Bill in the name of ACT’s David Seymour, gives people with a terminal illness or a grievous and irremediable medical condition the option of requesting assisted dying.
The Bill currently has broad support in Parliament, passing its first reading with 76 votes in favour, 44 opposed.
To requested assisted dying the following criteria must be met:
Sir Bill English stands against euthanasia and claims that it’s “a completely logical progression” that legalising euthanasia will “…make New Zealand a dangerous place for those who are young and suicidal, old and feel a burden to family, and the disabled.”
He then goes on to say:
“You know, if they’re having a bad day where they wish they weren’t alive we should be offering them kindness and what we’re going to offer is to kill them”
And there’s this:
“The people who generally want euthanasia are higher income, well educated people who want control. They fear death and want control of it.”
English’s hypocrisy is nearly as astounding as his inability to make a logical argument. It’s disappointing and embarrassing that a former PM chooses to debate such important topics with made-up information, ignorance and fear mongering.
Where was National’s ‘kindness’ when they took advantage of the Christchurch earthquakes to push their money-saving, education-sacrificing learning environments?
Where was their kindness when they cut mental health funding leaving suicidal kids drowning in despair on waiting lists?
Bill English’s poorly formed arguments find great company amongst other arguments against legalising euthanasia. According to the submissions some claim that it diminishes human dignity by equating an individual’s worth with their ability to contribute to society – a profoundly ironical position considering we live in a society that does just that.
Then there’s the dirty tactics of a University of Auckland professor, Stephen Penk, father of National MP Chris Penk, who’s been caught using a false name to publicly lobby against the End of Life Choice bill. It seems as though conservative Christians are mobbing the polls and publicly lobbying against euthanasia whilst hiding their religious motivations.
As it stands, forcing people to endure excruciatingly painful medical conditions amounts to torture, therefore, a breach of human rights.
If assisted dying is legalised we have a responsibility to minimise potential abuse of such laws but considering many people are already being given very large doses of morphine to ‘ease passing’ these laws may actually do more to safeguard life than end it.
Ultimately, no one should have the right to determine another’s quality or length of life; that choice belongs to each of us, individually.