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NRT on submitting on the End of Life Choice Bill

Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, December 16th, 2017 - 259 comments
Categories: death with dignity, democratic participation, human rights, Parliament, Social issues - Tags: , ,

Idiot/Savant’s blog post on submitting on the euthanasia bill:


Friday, December 15, 2017


The Justice Committee has called for submissions on the End of Life Choice Bill, you can either submit using the online form linked above, or by sending two copies to:

Committee Secretariat
Justice Committee
Parliament Buildings

Submissions are due by Tuesday, 20 February 2018.

This is an important bill, and will be the subject of heavy lobbying from religious loonies. If you care about the bill, I encourage you to speak up about it.


259 comments on “NRT on submitting on the End of Life Choice Bill ”

  1. adam 1

    “We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views.”

    Except if you oppose state sponsored murder it seems, the line is you’re a religious loonie.

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Pity you are all big heart and little reasoning brain.

      • adam 1.1.1

        Woohoo the personal attacks begin.

        Any chance you could address the point? Too soon? Or like so many who are running with state sponsored murder, you have no defence.

        • BM

          You’re a Jesus guy how could you ever have a reasoned debate, euthanasia is the antithesis of what Christianity is all about.

          You can’t believe in an almighty creator and agree with euthanasia

          • adam

            I don’t agree with any murder.

            • Incognito

              The question then becomes how you conduct yourself in the public debate and in a democratic society in which many (??) of its members might be in favour of having a legalised option of requesting assisted dying.

              So far, you have made a few assertions and (personal) accusations – quite unnecessary IMO – under this post that do not hold much water except of drawing a very firm line in the sand with a warning sign “Do Not Cross This Line”.

              • adam

                Because it state sponsored murder. I thought that it was a simple argument , and quite clear. The state has no business in killing people. Nor do you have any right in killing people. Why do you think you have a right to ask other people to perform murder? And in this case it medical professionals you are asking to kill people.

                But people think all sort of stuff – in the USA for example, the majority of people believe angles exists – and if a law came into place saying we must stop every day and offer 5 hours of prayers to angels – would you oppose it?

                I would have thought that the majority here supported death with dignity, not state sponsored murder. And this bill does not have that debate – it actively avoids it – by putting forward state sponsored murder like some sort of humane option.

                • Because it state sponsored murder.

                  Except that it isn’t.

                  It is someone choosing when to die.

                  I thought that it was a simple argument , and quite clear.

                  It is, You seem incapable of understanding it.

                  The state has no business in killing people.

                  The state also has no business in prolonging peoples lives beyond what they can live.

                  Why do you think you have a right to ask other people to perform murder?

                  It’s not murder.

                  And people can assist or not – their choice as well.

                  I can assure you: After watching my mother die of cancer if anyone in a similar condition asks me to help them die I will help.

                  And in this case it medical professionals you are asking to kill people.

                  And if they were medical professionals rather than extremist religious idiots they’d help.

                  I would have thought that the majority here supported death with dignity, not state sponsored murder. And this bill does not have that debate – it actively avoids it – by putting forward state sponsored murder like some sort of humane option.

                  You haven’t even reads the bill have you?
                  Haven’t realised that it sets conditions that permit when this is permissible, haven’t realised that it all up to the patient.

                  That precludes the possibility of murder.

                • Incognito

                  Legalised murder is an oxymoron; if anything, it would be legalised killing. In any case, words & labels have specific meaning and by re-wording and re-labelling you divert from the real issues.

                  The comment about the USA and angles [sic] is a red herring.

                  This Bill has not come out of the blue. If you had read the Bill you would have seen this:

                  Bills relating to assisted dying have been debated twice before by the New Zealand Parliament. The first time was in 1995, when Michael Laws’ Death with Dignity Bill was defeated 61/29 at first reading. The second time was in 2003, when Peter Brown’s Death with Dignity Bill was defeated 60/58 at first reading.

                  You bemoan and allege lack of debate but nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, we are debating it and not just here on TS. Secondly, the Justice Committee has called for submissions on the Bill, which means that further debate will be ongoing. Thirdly, we have recently held significant debate around the death of Lecretia Seales:

                  A change in the law will bring benefits beyond alleviating unbearable suffering and avoiding people being at risk of premature death. The evidence considered in Seales and overseas studies show that, when assisted dying is permitted, the quality and uptake of palliative care increases and the doctor-patient relationship is positively enhanced.

                  Look Adam, you have an opinion and you are entitled to be heard and defend your values. That is how it should be in a free democratic nation and that is how it is in New Zealand. Let’s do this in a way that benefits society as a whole.

                  • adam

                    When I’m called a liar, it makes it hard.

                    So I’d rather not tonight.

                    • Incognito

                      Understood and I wish you a good night Adam.

                    • Then stop lying.

                      Simple really.

                    • adam

                      Make me more of a condescending tard like you draco t bastard, It’s now my whole life goal to be a smug, smell my own farts, up tight wad like you – please teach me, pleasssssssse

                      The above is the only true lie I’ve told tonight, the truth is I want to be nothing like you.

                      If you can’t handle opposing opinions, in highly volatile issues with out the name calling draco t bastard, maybe you should give up politics. Just an opinion.

                    • Opposing opinions is fine – if you can back them up with facts.

                      You haven’t. In fact, you’ve simply lied the entire time.

                      Lied about the meaning of murder.
                      Lied about what the bill would do to disabled people.
                      Lied about it being the state killing people.

                    • adam

                      Do you even know what slippery slope even means?

                      Show me where this bill does not involve the state.

            • Sabine

              if i choose to end my life because i don’t want to die like my mother, screaming in pain for hours until death finally came – cause the morphine was not enough to cover the pain that was the cancer rotting her body from the inside to the outside – it ain’t murder, its charity, its an act of love, of self love or self determination.

              besides, if you go back in time, there used to be a thing called ‘we did all humanely possible and we have reached the end of medical intervention’ here have a bag of pain killers , take your parent, child, sister, wife, husband home and let them die in peace and surrounded by family with as much dignity as possible.

              Now it is, oh she is dying of cancer, and the cancer has now attacked the gall bladder, and we could remove it. It would not cure her/ him, it would not make on iota of a difference, but we get to charge a surgery, after surgery care etc etc to the Insurance company and that is good for the bottom line. ‘

              Surely it is what Christ himself would have wanted. Invite the Money lenders and the Insurance companies into the Temple to charge the sheep out of their last pennies. It is just so godly. Dignity must be a thing from Satan.

              so in essence YOU do as YOUR god tells you to do and keep YOU piety out of our bodies and our decisions.

              • adam

                And my argument is that Sabine, that we are not having the death with little pain or suffering debate – we are having let’s let doctors kill us debate.

                I’m not saying don’t kill yourself, I’d prefer you did not – but I won’t stop you. What I am saying is don’t ask other people to kill you, or make it part of the state machine, because you couldn’t do it yourself.

                Also as to your debate, my uncle died by cancer as, but without the suffering you mother had (oh which I sorry for your suffering at that time, and obviously this time as well) . He was doped to the eyeballs on a mixture of drugs with the important one being anti-anxiety medicine. He suffered very little, and a doctor did not need to kill him.

                Come on we have ways and means where by people can kill themselves, and we have ways and means where by we can curtail the suffering and yes give people dignity at death. So do we have to give to the state the power and right to kill it citizens? As I’ve said before, slippy slope that one.

            • Draco T Bastard

              People choosing when to die is not murder.

              • adam

                At their own hand I agree.

                Someone else doing it for them, is murder pure and simple.

                • No it’s not.


                  Murder is the unlawful killing of another human without justification or valid excuse

                  Which is not what we’re talking about.

                  • adam

                    If you can justify murder in your own mind, I can’t have a discussion with you. It’s that simple.

                    At the moment we have laws that say it’s murder, and I’m saying all this bill does, is make it state sponsored murder. The whole malice component may not be there, but the killing of another human being is.


                    • It’s not murder. Its people choosing to die when they choose. That’s all.

                      And, no, you can’t have a valid conversation because you’re lying.

                    • adam

                      As you said, you think I’m a liar so stop talking to me. It’s your choice, exercise it.

                    • I’ll keep calling out your lies because they need to be called out.

                    • One Two []

                      You’re not calling Adam out on anything…

                      And you’re not the person to be calling anyone else a liar, Draco..

                      Have a word

                    • adam

                      I believe that killing and murder are immoral and should be opposed.

                      That makes me a liar, great line of argument draco t bastard.

                    • I believe that killing and murder are immoral and should be opposed.

                      Murder is immoral.

                      What this bill allows is not murder.

                    • adam

                      Killing is wrong, the bill is all about killing. I personally think that type of killing is murder. So the only lie, is the fiction you are making up draco.

                      Be nice if stopped cherry picking, argue the whole point, that makes it more honest, we can have that at least?

                    • Killing is wrong, the bill is all about killing.

                      Another lie.

                      This bill is not about killing but about someone ending their life when they choose.

                      It is about dying which the person is going to do. It’s just a question of if they go out with dignity or not. This bill is to allow them the former.

                    • adam

                      No wonder you called me a liar, you think that no one is involved in the death of a person, it happens mystically in your opinion? Come on dude, how can you support euthanasia without someone doing the ending of someone else’s life? Are you not connecting the dots here?

                • Sabine

                  again, the word that you are looking for is


                  If i give consent to my partner to help me die should i be in a position where i can’t look after my self anymore and/or would only ‘live’ with the help of breathing aparatuses etc, then that is not my partner ‘murdering’ me, that is my partner fulfilling my last wish.

                  Consent is the key word. I have discussed this with my partner, family, doctor, care giver etc, i have signed required paperwork, i have been sound of mind, my doctor consents to the procedure, or my partner consents to administering a drug, or buying me the gun and leaving it on my dressing table, or getting my the drugs needed to inject my self.


                  Murder is someone killing someone who very much wants to live and had no say in the way they died. It is the very opposite of this bill.

                  • adam

                    So you are arguing you will do your self in?

                    I have no problem with that, but if you asked your partner/doctor/nurse to pull the trigger – I have a big problem with that. I also think the state has no business in that process at all you decision to kill yourself.

                    My definition of murder and yours are substantially different. Murder in my mind is the act of killing another human being. What degree of intent that makes that murder heinous or man(women) slaughter is up to circumstance, but to kill another human being – makes you a murderer.

                    • Sabine

                      i don’t care if you have a problem with it. That is your problem. not mine.

                      I don’t care what you think the state should do, there are processes to go through and hopefully an acceptable way will be found to allows people to end their life in dignity when the time for them comes and they want to call it quits.

                      And the thing is, assisted suicide has existed since forever, same as abortion, and people like you will never stop them. Because you will never put the well being of someone before your own rigid moral code. And thus people will simply ignore you and get on with things.
                      You can’t ban it, you can only criminalize it. Sad!

                    • adam

                      It’s a slippery slope.

                    • adam

                      One point Sabine, you’re the only one mixing euthanasia and abortion topics together. I have never stop abortion, nor have I ever said anything against it. Except maybe in the case of abortion being chosen because of gender (which generally means killing females) or disability. Where all I’m sure all I’ve said, is a topic which needs to be discussed.

                • McFlock

                  Ok, you’re cool with someone dying at their own hand. What if they don’t have hands, or can’t control them? The choice is there, the ability is not.

                  FWIW, I’m extremely reluctant on the euthenasia debate, for slippery-slope reasonas and I believe it is impossible to legislatively remove incentives to pressure people into making that “choice”. But just calling it murder cheapens the discussion.

                  • adam

                    The whole disable is where I have major problems with this, so did you go there on purpose to wind me up?

                    I will call it killing (as opposed to murder) from now on, I take your point on that. Still personally think it’s state sponsored killing.

                    • McFlock

                      No problems with “state” or “killing”.

                      “Sponsored” makes it sound like the state is advocating it, rather than merely enabling the individual’s choice. Remember, at the moment it’s illegal even for a doctor to supply a lethal dose of morphine for injection by the patient at a later date.

            • Ant

              “I don’t agree with any murder”
              Neither do I nor any civilized person.

              Murder as I understand it stems from an intense motive of wanting to get rid of someone either for money or because of hatred, jealousy etc. Murder does not help the victim, nor is it at the victim’s request.

              Euthanasia’s motive is the polar opposite: compassion for the sufferer and willingness to assist the sufferer at his/her close of life request .

              One cannot possibly link both cases as “murder.”

              • adam

                So you can casually kill another human being, to relieve suffering. So a disabled person who is suffering and in the name of compassion you will happily finish them off?

                It’s a slippery slope.

                • Sabine

                  where was ‘casual’ and ‘disabled’ mentioned in the comment from Ant?


                  You are trying to make this about something it is not.

                  As for disabled people, do you accept that they might have their own agency and that you might not speak for them?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            You can’t believe in an almighty creator and agree with euthanasia

            Bollocks. Authoritarian followers believe what they’re told to believe.

      • One Two 1.1.2

        GW that comment singularly undrmines the well thought out and articulate explanations you post here…

        Adam is accurate in his observation

    • Andre 1.2

      Who is proposing state sponsored murder? This bill is not about expanding military or police powers. Nor is it about the state choosing to prematurely end someones life in any other circumstance. This bill is about the state finally butting out of people’s intensely personal choices about their end of life dignity and suffering.

      And yes, a near-universal characteristic of religious loonies is they try to impose their particular views on other people, denying them the right to make their own free choices.

      • adam 1.2.1

        Have you read the bill Andre?

        Just wondering because i’d suggest you have not. Because if section 9(4) (d) (iv) does not give you the heebie jeebies, then sorry for you.

        There are other sections that worry me, indeed all of section 9 (4) is a nightmare for disable people.

        • weka

          It looks to me like Section 9 (4) (d) (iv) says you can’t sign on behalf of the person wanting assisted suicide if you have a mental disability.

          So if someone wants assisted dying and can’t sign consent themselves someone else can, so long as the person isn’t their medical practitioner, won’t benefit from the death, is over 18, and doesn’t have a mental disability. What is wrong with that?

          (haven’t looked to see what the definition of mental disability is)

          • adam

            So here we have an act which sponsors murder. And in it we have a clause which actively excludes people on the grounds of mental disability. And is at another point, is far from clear what mental capability is.

            It could be argued that greywarshark lacks mental capability, because they relied on cliches and personal attacks rather than debate the issue. Therefore at no time would they be mentally capable to make a choice about their own death.

            Don’t you have days when mental capability is not at it’s best? Or other times when depression has been a part of who you are?

            As I’ve said, if this is about death with dignity then we should be discussing how best that can happen – rather than running off and giving the state the right to murder it citizens. Which is all that this bill is doing.

            • Draco T Bastard

              So here we have an act which sponsors murder.

              No we don’t. We have an act that carefully precludes it.

              You’re trying to use emotive language to make an assertion which is patently false.

              To put it another way: You”re lying.

            • weka

              Ok, so you’re objection to that part of the Act is that people with varying mental disability can’t be proxy signatories for someone else wanting help with dying?

              You seem to think that clause re mental disability is the mental state of the person wanting to die. It’s not.

              • adam

                I’m point out one point which is extremely troublesome to anyone with a disability.

                Politicians can not be trusted.

                I oppose the whole thing. You can say it will be fine till you’re blue in the face and I won’t agree with you. Because so many bills have been twisted a turned into a pill of crap over the last few years, this one is way worse – becasue it lets people kill/murder with the blessing of the state.

                Can we have a discussion about what it mean to die with dignity without killing or murder? It would appear we can not becasue I have said that time after time and not one of you has engaged.

                Murder is murder, and killing is killing. If you want to hand the state that power. Expect me to oppose it.

                Good night, I’ve had enough.

                • It would appear we can not becasue I have said that time after time and not one of you has engaged.

                  We have all engaged and pointed out where you were wrong.

                  You keep lying.

                  • adam


                    Cheery pick to you get the answer you want – can you get anymore disingenuous?

                    • I’m not cherry picking – I’m pointing out your lies.

                    • adam

                      Sorry draco t bastard but going to call bs on that. You just want to be right so calling my opinions lies, is you best way to do that.

                    • You just want to be right so calling my opinions lies,

                      Nope. You’re actually lying and calling them lies is what’s needed.

                    • adam

                      Poor draco can says lies, except you oppose my language and choice of the word murder. OK drop murder, And add the word killing.

                      You want the right to kill, under the guise of compassion. Can’t you see that is a slippery slope?

                • weka

                  I’m point out one point which is extremely troublesome to anyone with a disability.

                  I have a disability adam. I support euthanasia in principle because of that disability.

                  Politicians can not be trusted.

                  I agree.

                  I oppose the whole thing. You can say it will be fine till you’re blue in the face and I won’t agree with you.

                  I haven’t said it will be fine. In fact I’ve said that I don’t trust the state to get this right.

                  Can we have a discussion about what it mean to die with dignity without killing or murder? It would appear we can not becasue I have said that time after time and not one of you has engaged.

                  All I’ve done so far is engage on the piece of the Bill you referred to (which I think you are misinterpreting). I’d be willing to talk about dying with dignity without the killing, sure.

        • Andre

          What’s the problem? 9.4 is about the process if persons wanting an assisted death cannot fill out the paperwork themselves.

          That clause allows someone else to assist with the paperwork, but that someone else must not be the medical practitioner, and must not knowingly benefit, and must not be mentally disabled, and must have reached a sufficiently mature age. Narrowing down who may assist with the paperwork to people that meet all the criteria seems like a reasonable protection for the person requesting assistance in dying. Probably some more reasonable protections will be added as it goes through the process.

        • Incognito

          I agree that there appears to be a gap between the General Policy Statement and Clause 9(4)(d)(iv).

          The Bill carefully defines those eligible for assisted dying, details a comprehensive set of provisions to ensure this is a free choice, made without coercion, and outlines a stringent series of steps to ensure the person is mentally capable of understanding the nature and consequences of assisted dying. [my bold]

          • Andre

            Looks like I’m having the same issue that McFlock had, with comments randomly disappearing. Except this time I can’t think of anything I said that might trigger any rules.

            In any case, section 8 is about that part of the General Policy Statement.

            edit: If any mods see this, it’s not worth trying to dig my previous attempts out of the trash and put in the right place here.

            • adam

              Now we going to define disable as non humans, for the purposes of state sponsored murder. Because it sounds reasonable.

              • Andre

                If anyone ever tries that, many of the supporters of the current proposed bill will turn around and extremely strongly oppose it. The backlash would be so severe it would probably result in reversion to even more stringent restrictions than what we have now.

                • adam

                  And yet that is exactly what you just defended. By specifically stating mental health is an exclusion.

                  Come on Andre get some consistency.

                  • Andre

                    In section 9, mental disability disqualifies someone from assisting with the paperwork for someone requesting assisted dying.

                    Section 4 f appears to apply to someone mentally disabled in a way that precludes them from properly understanding the consequences. It makes them ineligible for assisted dying.

                    Both of those aspects are added obstacles for anyone mentally disabled from participating in any part of an assisted dying process. They do not make it more likely that the disabled will become victims of state sponsored murder, quite the opposite in fact.

                    • adam

                      But the state has decided that these people are not human. But you’re OK with that? What is to stop them from adding a clause say 5 years from now to add people with mental health being murder this way? No protection, as the bill already excludes them from being human.

                    • Andre

                      adam, where does it say disabled people are not human? Exact clause and words please.

                      Using the meanings of words that most of the rest of us use and understand, those bits referenced before say that to be a part of a process that has a huge direct impact on someone’s life, there are minimum eligibility requirements that must be met. It’s no different than any other aspect of society where we have a minimum requirement before someone is allowed to do something. Such as driving, practicing medicine, electrical work etc etc.

                    • adam

                      So you are saying you support excluding people in law becasue of their disability? And that is a good thing? Am I right?

                      Come on the act says you can’t sign somthing becasue you’re disabled. I thought that part was clear. Excluded from being human.

            • Incognito

              Nope, Section 8 also does not specifically address or relate to Clause 9(4)(d)(iv), which appears to be a stand-alone one and not integrated into the Bill. Clause 9(4)(d) covers signing & dating of the request “by a person other than the person to whom it relates”. To make me, it makes no sense that if someone truly understands the implications of his/her request they cannot sign & date it!?

              • Andre

                Section 8 is about the process after someone initiates a request for assisted dying. Y’know, making sure they really understand what they are asking for. The conditions in section 8 must be satisfied before going on to anything specified in section 9.

                Section 9.4 is about a situation where the requester physically cannot fill out the paperwork, for instance they may have uncontrollable tremors in their arms or have lost their limbs.

                • Incognito

                  I agree that a strict process must be followed. However, your qualification does not hold water because a person who “may have uncontrollable tremors in their arms or have lost their limbs” is not what is covered in Clause 9(4)(d)(iv).

                  • Andre

                    9(4)(d)(iv) is not standalone. Before it can even be considered the requester must meet 9(4)(a) “The person to whom it relates cannot write for any reason”. All the conditions in the entire clause 4 must be met in full for it to be used. The clause reads:

                    ” (4)
                    The second part of the form may be signed and dated by a person other than the person to whom it relates if—
                    the person to whom it relates cannot write for any reason; and
                    the person to whom it relates requests the other person to sign and date it; and
                    the person who signs and dates the part notes on it that he or she did so in the presence of the person to whom the form relates; and
                    the person who signs and dates the part is not—
                    a health practitioner caring for the person to whom the part relates; or
                    a person who knows that he or she stands to benefit from the death of the person to whom the part relates; or
                    a person aged under 18 years; or
                    a person with a mental disability. ”

                    The “ands” at the end of a,b, and c mean all the conditions (including d) must be satisfied before clause 4 can be used to permit a proxy to sign and date the form. The “ors” in i, ii, iii means all the various classes of people listed in i through iv are ineligible to serve as proxies for signing the form.

                    Personally, where there’s a proxy signature I’d like to also require a witness meeting the same conditions as well. So that’ll be part of my submission.

                    I would also like to see a bit more in section 27, with tougher consequences if any pressure or coercion was applied anywhere in the process.

                    • Incognito

                      Got it now; the mental disability condition applies to the person signing & dating the request, not the one making the request. Apologies for being a bit slow in these matters.

                  • Andre

                    Anyone with concerns about whether mental disability will be a barrier to assisted dying should look at sections 4 and 8, which are about ensuring the requester understands what they are asking for and fully understands the consequences. I haven’t noticed any part of the bill that spells out how to assess that understanding. Mental disability is not mentioned in either of those sections.

                    So if someone is mentally disabled in a way that prevents them from understanding the consequences, they are barred from receiving assistance in dying. If the mental disability is of some other nature and they are able to fully understand assisted dying, then they are eligible to request and receive it (subject to the other conditions being met). That seems reasonable to me.

                    But then there’s the cases where someone is lucid at times and totally out of it at other times… However, the difficult wrinkles of some specific cases should not be an absolute roadblock to general progress on an important life choice issue.

            • weka

              had a quick look, and there are comments in Trash where it looks odd how they got there. Just putting this comment here so I can find it again later if this keeps happening.

    • weka 1.3

      “Except if you oppose state sponsored murder it seems, the line is you’re a religious loonie.”

      Interesting. I didn’t take it like that. I took him to mean the fundamentalists will be lobbying hard. If you’re religious but not a fundamentalist then it doesn’t apply.

      • adam 1.3.1

        It implied anyone who was religious and opposed this law, was loonie.

        Can’t read it any other way – if it was about fundamentalist, then why did it not say fundamentalist?

        • Jeremy

          My interpretation is that IS thinks that anyone who is religious is a loonie, rather than a religious person who opposes this bill is a loonie.

          • adam

            In that case, IS has issues they need to work through.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              With Lord Krisna?

              • Hey do we have to bring Syāmasundaram (a name of Krsna describing his colour as blue black the colour of a monsoon cloud and very beautiful) into it. Interesting to visit with deities like this – Auckland has some very nice ones.

                I’m terms of this debate the devotees of Krsna would send you to the Bhagavid Gita when moral dilemmas of life and death were explored and answered for them.

          • weka

            That might be true, but at least he wrote it ambiguously enough that if you’re religious but not a religious ‘loonie’ then you don’t need to take offense.

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.3.2

        Weka…I see where adam is coming from, and I’m surprised that Idiot/Savant has worded his post in such a way.

        It does seem to imply, that those with concerns about, or who outright oppose this Bill are all Sky Fairy Fanatics.

        This is a very sensitive subject, especially in the disability community where many are struggling to feel accepted and valued.

        Add to that the degrading of supports for those with disabilities over the past 18 years or so and you have a group of people who are reminded on a daily basis by
        Those Who Rule just what a burden we are.

        Add to that the almost constant virtue signalling from the proponents of Assisted Dying who almost always support their view with…’who’d want to be dependent, lose dignity, be a burden’ narratives.

        Tangentially…do you think it would be okay just to recycle the submission I made to the last Select Committee on this issue?

        • weka

          I’m sure it would. I agree there are major issues to be worked through especially in regards to disability. I don’t trust the state to do that well enough. Otoh, it’s a given for me that at the end of my life odds are I will need an easier way out because of lack of good disability support. I’m not sure I see that changing in my lifetime. So it works both ways. No idea what the solution is apart from working through the process as best we can. I haven’t read the Bill though.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            “….odds are I will need an easier way out because of lack of good disability support. I’m not sure I see that changing in my lifetime.”

            Here was I trying to trying to hang on to the last shreds of hope…

            Bring on the blue juice now, get it over and done with.

            Seriously though, that was the gist of the submission I made to the Select Committee.

            • weka

              the gist being that people will want to kill themselves due to lack of support, and this is a problem? If you thought that there was good support across the board would you support euthanasia?

              The thing that concerns me is the debate is already so polarised and there is little in depth discussion about the problematic areas. I also think the whole disability thing needs a lot more exploration. The issues vary across a range of people and different kinds of disabilities.

              Would you be interested in doing a Guest Post based on the submission?

    • People choosing to die at a time of their choosing is not ‘state sponsored murder’. It is people using their right to choose.

      • adam 1.4.1

        It is state sponsored murder, if they involve anyone else apart from themselves. That is what this bill is sponsoring.

        • Draco T Bastard


          It is people choosing to die at a time that they choose and asking for the help that they need. That is all.

          • adam

            In your opinion, which differs from mine. Except you will call me a liar.

            • Draco T Bastard

              It’s not an opinion. Murder has a very definite meaning which excludes people choosing to die.

              Which means you’re a liar because you keep insisting that people choosing to die is murder.

              • adam

                You tool, I’ve said over and over. If you get someone else to kill you, it’s murder. The choice part is irrelevant to my point.

                Pretty disingenuous arguing there draco t bastard – cherry picking my argument to make yourself feel better about killing and murder.

                • Why is it murder if they ask that person to do it. That is not murder fact.

                • If you get someone else to kill you, it’s murder.

                  Except that it isn’t.

                  Murder requires that the death be against the persons wishes.

                  Pretty disingenuous arguing there draco t bastard – cherry picking my argument to make yourself feel better about killing and murder.

                  Just pointing out your lies as needed.

                  • adam

                    OK lets drop the word murder, but you are supporting killing in the name of compassion. A morally repulsive position all by itself.

                    You do get your being emotive? I know I am, as I feel quite passionate about this. Be nice if your were honest about your emotions on this, rather than be disingenuous and because you disagree by calling me a liar.

                    • How much of your position is because of your intrepetation and manifestation of your Christian beliefs. It appears to be a chunk.

                    • but you are supporting killing in the name of compassion. A morally repulsive position all by itself.

                      No, that’s a moral position. Opposing it is immoral.

                      1. The person is dying. No power on Earth can prevent that.
                      2. They are in extreme pain and, most likely, can do nothing for themselves.
                      3. They have requested to die.

                      At that point there is no reason not to grant their request and help them on. In fact, not doing so is immoral because it removes their own agency enforcing pain and indignity upon them. Yes, the agency of the person who will assist them also needs to be considered but there are those who will help.

                      4. Keeping them alive takes up resources (food, doctors, medicine, nurses, etcetera) that would be better used to keep someone else, who isn’t at deaths door, alive.

                      That’s the one that you’re really going to hate but it happens to be true. Our resources aren’t unlimited and so we, as a society, have to choose which is the best option for the person dying, for those who can actually be helped with the use of our limited resources and society.

                      Keeping someone alive at all costs is an immoral position because it takes away resources from those who can be helped.

                      EDIT: No, I wasn’t disagreeing by calling you a liar. I was calling you a liar because you were lying.

                      [I’ve scanned back up-thread. There was a divergence in terminology. That’s cause for disagreement. You screeching liar,liar because you’d use other terminology is just plain bullshit. Pull your head in. Pull it in a long ways.] – Bill

                    • adam

                      And so to you point 4. Yeah you do think it’s OK to kill people. And you wonder why disable people like myself think of people like you, we live in fear of people like you getting into power, because for you killing is such an easy option. At your point four, I think I can go back to calling your a murderer. But lettes run with you being a killer.

                      When what I’ve said is
                      a) there are other option – other drugs these days which help – like anti anxiety drugs – as one option.
                      b) I said that it’s wrong to ask people to kill other people. (i have not even gone down the whole trust with the medical profession line)
                      c) what does dignity mean at death, rather than asking someone else killing you
                      d) this is no business of the state
                      e) that if the state gets involved, at some point people will make economic arguments to end people’s lives and that is morally repulsive. (Oh look you went there, and the bill does not even say that, but hey slippry slope and all that) (it could be argued, that just to leave them to die saves more money – see slippery slope…)
                      f) It’s state sponsored killing, especially following your line of thinking, and bringing in economic arguments to justify killing
                      g) I did call it murder, but (as you were uncomfortable with that) happy to settle on just calling it killing. Lets not use euphemisms which cover the fact, that to end a person’s life, you have to kill them.

                      And by my arguments I’m a liar in your book.

                      Emotive, much?!??

  2. Whispering Kate 2

    I just don’t understand why we need this euthansia bill in the first place. There has always been the personal choice to end one’s life – suicide. If people are so determined to end their own lives, then they should be prepared long before they need somebody else to do the job for them, and go and do it quietly on their own. Terminal illnesses leave one plenty of time to plan and not have to concern other people with it. There are plenty of ways one can end their own lives, I know because I have personal connections to somebody who has done just that.

    We have become so lacking in taking responsibility for our own actions in many ways, this is another. Why burden professional medical staff with this decision and leave it on their conscience. Why cannot we just accept the responsibility of wanting to end it personally and not involve some other poor sod to do it for us.

    • Sabine 2.1

      Cause many might not want their loved once to go to prison for ‘murder’.
      My mother died at home, once she was dead the police came, took her body away for an autopsie to determine if anyone had helped her onto the other side.
      IF my sister, who was her main care giver, would have done anything to make her passing easier – and as i stated earlier, she died screaming, she would have been charged with manslaugther, found guilty and would have ended up in prison.

      so while many would like to have the option to opt out should the need arise, and my mother was someone who loved living, she also was not willing to cause harm to any of us. By the time she died, within one year she had her uterus, ovaries, cervic and parts of the colon removed to the cancer – then they gave up cutting things out. The wounds never healed, she was afraid to eat lest she needed to go to the bathroom, and she was only 67 years old – when she died she weight in at 34 kg. The cancer took less then one year to make her a cripple who was on morphine twenty four hours to ‘manage’ the pain.

      Again, if one does not want to go there, then they should not. If one has the religious believe that they can’t approve of it, don’t approve of it, don’t do it and realize that ones religious opinion might not be shared by many others who have other religious or non religious believes. Religion should be kept out of politics. Politics is there to create legal frame works for what is acceptable behavior in society, and Religion – to each their own – is there to provide a moral frame work for people who want to join the club. But then whose religion is the one that supersedes all other religion?

      This is just my experience and two cents.

    • Brigid 2.2

      Because there is no way you will know that life will become unbearable as your illness progresses.
      I suspect you haven’t cared for anyone through a terminal illness. What the patient feels and wants from day to day can change drastically, so while initially they may have no opinion on euthanasia, this may change once they are no longer able to pick up a gun and go shoot themselves.

      However i do know that the palliative care nurses I dealt with made damn sure my sister was comfortable in the last few days of her life, and those of us who were caring for her were trusted to administer more drugs if the need arose.

      But the thing is, we only have our own experiences to form an opinion on this subject.
      So actually I’m damned if I know.

      • Whispering Kate 2.2.1

        Brigid I have cared for terminally people as a job, I have cared for my own mother in her own home until she died peacefully under Hospice supervision. Don’t presume to know what I have experienced with the dying. What I do know categorically is that euthanasia in any form is repugnant and is vulnerable to all manner of loopholes and widening of the criteria will most certainly happen over time. Suicide is an option that does not have to involve family members. Most of the suicides I have known have all occurred way away from family and that’s the way it should be. Don’t burden other people with that huge responsibility on their conscience.

        • Ross

          Whispering Kate, someone recently walked in front of a train near Upper Hutt. Apparently they were intent on killing themselves. It must’ve have been awful for the train driver and passengers who witnessed this and there were significant delays for commuters. I think there’s a better way.

          Suicide is an option that does not have to involve family members.

          Well, that surely is up to the person who wishes to die, it’s not up to you. Why do you feel it necessary to tell others what they should and shouldn’t do? I think they’re capable of doing that themselves.

          Some train drivers have quit their job as a result of people walking in front of a train.

          “Tranz Rail spokeswoman Sue Foley said 16 trespassers, including people who committed suicide, had been killed by trains so far this year [2003].”


    • I just don’t understand why we need this euthansia bill in the first place. There has always been the personal choice to end one’s life – suicide.

      Because people who are sick and dying from it may not actually be able to take their own lives.

      If people are so determined to end their own lives, then they should be prepared long before they need somebody else to do the job for them, and go and do it quietly on their own.

      Life does not happen in a nice, ordered, predetermined path.

      Terminal illnesses leave one plenty of time to plan and not have to concern other people with it.

      Not always they don’t. And accidents certainly don’t.

      Why cannot we just accept the responsibility of wanting to end it personally and not involve some other poor sod to do it for us.

      Because life doesn’t always hand us clues as to what’s going to happen tomorrow.

      • Sabine 2.3.1

        thank you for stating it so nicely.

        my mother would not have even known where to get a gun, or the drugs needed to give herself the golden shot.

        • Draco T Bastard

          my mother would not have even known where to get a gun, or the drugs needed to give herself the golden shot.

          Neither would have mine and, considering that she was nurse through WWII, I’m sure she understood the meaning of ‘mercy kill’.

          • marty mars

            Yes the point Adam misses is that the person choosing this is dying and suffering. They are choosing when to die not if they should die.

            Adams opinion sorta validates nrt’s post re religious peoples opposition.

            The irony is if you believe in souls then the body is a vehicle and death is a tranisition point not the end…

            I had a friend who went back to the Netherlands and chose to die rather than suffer the debilitating effects of the disease killing him. I respect his decision. He made his choice and he did it for his reasons. Big love to him.

            • adam

              I get that, but I don’t think other people, and in this case doctors and nurses should be the ones involved in the killing/ending of a person’s life.

              If you choose to die, and do it to yourself, I don’t like it, but I don’t oppose it.

              I also think the state has no right to write laws about this.

              • If a person wants to but physically can’t you’d condem them to suffer needlessly and then die. For what reason?
                Didn’t Jesus getting murdred allow your sins to be forgiven. Didnt God allow that. Are the people helping these people reduce their suffering not saved too? If they are souls wrapped in meat and blood then isn’t reducing their suffering helping them in many ways including spiritually?

                • adam

                  Odd argument style marty mars, creating strawmen arguments so you can knock them down. Very marxist-leninist of you there buddy, very marxist-leninist.

                  • Dunno about that – I’m interested in the theological questions around this subject and was just trying to get a discussion around my area of interest.

                    • adam

                      Create a post then 🙂

                    • At least you stopped trying to insult me so good for you, although being called a Marxist is cool cos he had a good way of seeing things old Karl and lenin had his good points too. Pity you can’t allow others in this thread, who have different opinions to you, the same courtesy.

                    • adam

                      If you have a theological argument – generally, but not always, a good way to start that is by quoting a piece of the bible, and then constructing an argument around it. Also it’s good to quote other theologians, and the Bible (ie translation) you are citing. rather than throw up a hog mash of semi religious ideas.

                      So you will excuse me if your argument did not look like a theological argument at all, but indeed a strawman.

                      As I said, write a post, if that is what you want.

    • Incognito 2.4

      As I understand it, it is assisted suicide and under well-controlled conditions by a qualified professional who can provide the appropriate means.

      Not all terminal illnesses leave you with plenty of time; some can rapidly progress. I suppose that not all conditions covered by this Bill are (due to) terminal illnesses and some may be caused by accidental trauma.

      There are indeed many ways you can end your life if you so wish. But not all are equal in access and the process that they induce. I believe a proper legal and ethical framework is highly desirable.

  3. greywarshark 3

    So much of this post seems to have resulted in annoyed discussions about what a religious loonie is. No wonder we can’t move on anything important to people’s personal lives and conditions in NZ Thank you Sabine for putting up a number of links which will be interesting and probably helpful. I am not taking part in this farce which is parodying a rational discourse and seems dominated by one person, adam playing the disruptive part that RW trolls usually do.

    • Incognito 3.1

      Fair comment; I too tend to not engage or walk away when it tends to get ‘tedious’. That said, my thoughts are that Adam is by no means unique and that the debate cannot and must not hinge on person or one set of (narrow) opinions. There are many (??) people who will read this post + comments and not participate and for that silent audience I am prepared to hang in here – it is too important and goes beyond (basic) politics.

  4. In Vino 4

    Adam is equating ‘kill’ and ‘murder’. To me that seems an error. The old example of ‘freedom-fighter’ (positive); ‘guerilla’ (neutral); and ‘terrorist’ (negative). Murder is a very emotive term. Kill is less so : I can kill a hedgehog accidentally by running over it when I had not noticed it. Or I can deliberately run over a possum because although I dislike the deed, I recognise that it is a pest introduced to this country by humans who should now correct the error. An animal-lover could call that murder, but most people would not. Deliberate killing – yes. Murder- no. Justified killing.
    Every time we go to war we authorise our soldiers to kill deliberately, but we do not call it murder. A conscious objector would probably call it murder, but I think the majority of people would not.
    You may be in a minority opinion group, Adam. Unless you can justify the use of ‘murder’ where most people would not use the term, I for one will not be persuaded.
    There is no perfect answer to this – we live in a situation where we often have to choose the least evil rather than the perfectly ideal. That is human. We believe in ideals to try and make those choices, but sometimes those ideals are concepts which do not exist in our concrete world.

    • Incognito 4.1

      You’ll notice that the Bill very carefully words it as End of Life Choice. In other words, one chooses how & when to end one’s own life, and only one’s own, with appropriate assistance upon request and following a strict and formal procedure AKA consenting.

      • adam 4.1.1

        Rather than be honest and saying – we going to let people kill other people all in the name of choice.

        • Incognito

          That is your interpretation and I think it is so inaccurate that it is actually incorrect. My interpretation is that the Bill is about being able and legally allowed to request assistance with taking one’s own life, not somebody else’s life, if and when one chooses so. As such, the only one who takes a life is the one whose life is taken, by him or herself.

          If you interpretation were correct I would agree with you 100%.

    • adam 4.2

      Point taken In Vino, about the terms murder and killing. I will use killing now, rather than murder.

      My use of the word stemmed from the position is that historically it quickly because murder. And state sponsored murder at that. See draco t bastard has already gone down that slippery slope.

  5. Rosemary McDonald 5

    Excuse me…if I may interrupt the willy wagging/pissing contest that been going on all evening…

    A major issue to consider (as well as there being no entitlement in New Zealand to funded disability supports unless you are on ACC) are the inequalities in funding between public hospitals and hospices.

    To the point where strong pain relieving medication…this is the goood shit…is denied to those in hospice care and often not given to patients in public hospitals if that patient is going into hospice care.

    Pretty shit really…but does point to a general feeling that there is a total lack of acknowledgment by the bean counters and politicians that entitlement to decent and equitable funded care should continue to the end of one’s natural life.


    • Pat 5.1

      is that because of cost or the lack of qualified staff to oversee its administering?

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1


        “In a statement, Pharmac Director of Operations Sarah Fitt said some of the more powerful drugs can only be used in hospitals because of the level of additional care and monitoring required to use them safely.

        Rachel Wiseman is a palliative medicine specialist who works in a hospital.

        She agreed hospices were the poorer cousin, as they have a different funding mechanism to hospitals and a different budget.

        Dr Wiseman said that needed to be fixed.

        “There should not be the inequity of access that we have,” she said.

        “And I hope that at some point in the future the Ministry of Health looks at that, because I think it does cause a significant problem.”

        “There are drugs that I cannot start in hospital because I know the patient will not be able to access them once they leave.”
        Dr Wiseman said another cause was that people dying from cancer were living longer, which could be seen as a positive thing – but drugs used to manage their symptoms have not grown at the same pace.

        She said that problem wasn’t restricted to New Zealand.”

  6. Rosemary McDonald 6

    And I’ll just chuck in another factor…completely out of left field until I actually gave it a moment’s thought.


    Death row inmate, due to be executed by lethal injection, claims that treatment for terminal cancer has compromised his veins to the point where the lethal injection would cause excessive pain.

    So folk wishing to have the option of PAS might have to choose sooner…or make sure they have a good PICC line in…

    So much to consider…its not just a matter of exercising ‘choice’.

    • Sabine 6.1

      But having the ‘choice’ to consider and to maybe even plan without breaking the law takes away a lot of heartbreak and stress.

      Very much like the choice of being a terminal cancer patient and having to ‘criminalize’ a friend or several to procure weed as medicinal marijuana is not legal and thus not freely available even tho it would be the medicine that would be best for one.

      Unless we have a legal frame work we can not plan, or at least all our plans are illegal and criminal.

      So the issue is thus that we need to decide how do we cater to those that wish to be able to call it quits when the time comes. And then we can discuss the methods that can be used.

      As for hospices, a friends father passed away a few years in a hospice, she has been fundraising for them every year since. Cause we need to fundraiser for these things. Cause funding them is not a priority. And we are debating why people want to be able to take matters in their own hands. Most likely it is because they/we are scared taht one day we will end up in a bed, soiled, unwashed, uncared for waiting for death to knock on our door taking us out of our misery. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/27/study-finds-systemic-abuse-in-new-zealand-care-homes

      you are right, so much to consider. And choice should be one of these things that we should be granted.

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.1

        “Unless we have a legal frame work we can not plan, or at least all our plans are illegal and criminal.”

        Unless we can have a legal framework that supports the choices of all citizens who choose life even if that is a life with pain and disability….

        We need to legalise the safer and cheaper alternative for pain relief that is medical cannabis, and we need to repeal…toot bloody sweet please ..the legislative anathema that is the Part 4 amendment to the Public Health and Disability Act. (Labour…you promised!!!!)


        • One Two

          Hi Rosemary,

          I agree with the perspective you’re coming from…

          If I’ve interpreted it correctly, it’s that the failings of underfunded public health agencies/departments should be remediated such that quality of service for all, ensures that euthenasia should become the final resort..if that

          As opposed to anyone ‘choosing’ it, due to derelict support structures effectively guiding people to a specific decision point?

          Fully funded, human life enhancing first health care for the most vulnerable upwards. Support for family’s supporting , carers, medicinal options…end to end no corner cut…

        • Sabine

          Rosemary, with all due respect, today, all citizens will have to live a live with pain, disability, and terminal illness until their body gives up with no other way out. It does not matter if they choose to or not.

          The legal frame work i speak of is for those that want to opt out. The other just continue living with no one interfering. The same counts for doctors and other medical staff, they too can opt out – that legal frame work already exists in regards to abortion and dispensation of the morning after pill and / or the pill simple. They can do so on grounds of morals and religion.

          As it is, if someone were to kill a person with a disability, or a terminal illness, be it out of malice or out of kindness it is considered at the very best manslaughter at the very worst murder.

          So we need to legislate, create frameworks that allow people to choose the medicinal care they want for themselves, this includes medical marijuana and for those that have had enough the right to end their life the way they choose too, rather then how it is now, very often drugged to the hilt, unable to realise who is around them, and often in agonizing pain.

  7. Ross 7

    It’s fascinating that if we take an ailing pet to the vet and have it euthanised, we’re being humane and considerate. But an individual wanting the same for themselves brings out the nutters calling it “legalised murder”. Weird. I mean, as David Lange commented when homosexual law reform was introduced, it’s not compulsory!

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      “…the nutters calling it “legalised murder”. ”

      Firstly…perhaps it would aid discussion (rather than the appalling exchange on this thread here yesterday) to avoid inflammatory language?

      Yes…’legalised murder’ might seem OTT to those who cannot empathise with those in our community who live everyday with with conditions considered debilitating and undignified enough to cause the ‘sufferer’ to strongly desire the bliss of death.

      It is profoundly disrespectful to call us ‘nutters’.

      Already we have a publicly funded health system that actively encourages the elimination by abortion of babies diagnosed in utero with conditions such as spina bifida and Down Syndrome, despite the fact that people live happy and fulfilling lives with these conditions.

      Already we have a surprising number of health professionals who when someone with an existing disability has a medical crisis will choose not to treat aggressively as they consider the disability to be life limiting and therefore it would be ‘unethical’ to extend the patients ‘misery’ by trying to extend their life.

      Until this shit is eliminated…respect the genuine fears of this community with this so End of Life so called Choice Bill.

      It is nuanced and complicated.

      • Ross 7.1.1


        We also allow self-defence to kill someone who may be threating to kill or is being violent as long as the force used is reasonable. It’s all about context.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        You state the conundrum clearly. We need to keep coming back to this simple example.

        I still feel sad about my cat and my deciding it was time for him to die. He had been able to live so much longer with good diet biscuits and vet assistance. I had nothing to blame myself for except the hurt feeling of the needle taking in the anaesthetic and I said sorry to him and he settled and felt no more when the next needle carried the dose that ended his life. I held him in my arms.

        The little spirit of the house had gone, had got too sick to enjoy his life and now was gone. I didn’t do it because of the saving of vet cost though money is important, or because I was being left money in a will which is cited when peoples’ death is considered, he had had his time and it is finite for all of us as far as I know.
        (But who knows what the rich will dream up for themselves.) For the ordinary us, our personal wishes should be the guide in this advanced year of civilisation.

  8. Ross 8

    There was a story on TV1 earlier this week with a doctor complaining about the bill. He said his father had had a stroke but nonetheless was able to live several more years with a reasonable quality of life. The implication was that that might not have been the case had this proposed law been in place at the time. There was no genuine discussion as to how or why the proposed law would have had any effect on the doctor’s father.

    The good doctor would have known that some doctors are already assisting patients to die. A survey of doctors published in 2015 found that in a significant number of cases, doctors supplied drugs “intensifying the alleviation of pain and/or symptoms taking into account the probability” that death would be hastened. In some cases, treatment was simply withdrawn.

    “Our study shows that medical decisions at the end-of-life that hasten death through the prescribing, supplying or administration of a drug with that explicit purpose, continue to be a reality in New Zealand, that nurses are allegedly involved in such practices, and there appears to be more discussion with patients about MDEL [medical decisions at the end of life].”


  9. Sanctuary 9

    The cynic in me wonders why we have such a ruckus about assisted dying when many of the same passionate defenders in ACT and on the political right of assisted dying would have preferred a $20PW tax cut to raising tens of thousands of children out of poverty.

    This is surely a philosophical and moral argument, not a merely procedural one around the mechanism of dying. it seems to me a decent society would be consulting with it’s bishops, philosophers and ethicists in a wide ranging public discourse on this law long before it got to the Parliament and was given to a party dedicated to the libertarian principles of modern social Darwinism to shepherd it through the house. Euthenasia for the old, then extend the law to tidy up the homeless is the sort of comment one would not be surprised to hear from ACToids. We need to be careful of the cuckoo in the ethical nest, and know the dark path this sort of law could take us down.

    As for the philosophy, here is my 5c worth:

    Death is the one certainty. With one possible exception, everything that lives will die. Death is more certain than life, since we know not all those conceived are born and the circumstances of fate means many who may have been created will never be. The question we are asking ourselves is should we become arbiters in that inevitability. It seems to me that the arguments in favour, initially at least, normally turn on assuaging pain at the end of life. But philosphically is this in itself an intrinsically good thing?

    Now, I watched my father waste away from cancer. His choice was to cease eating until he died a withered husk riddled with disease. Would he have chosen a more active termination? No. I know this because I gave him the choice. I did the research and quietly collected enough drugs to kill a horse painlessly. The thing is my old man and I never got on. We didn’t talk beyond the perfunctional level required for civility for many years. His terminal disease changed him, and the last six months of his life was just about enough to make up for all the rest. Pain and the realisation of his mortality made my Dad the man he should have always been. He completed the journey of his life at peace with himself and died a good man.

    It occurs to me therefore that pain is as essential to understanding life as death itself. Without pain how can we fully understand the pleasure of discovering joy in the simple sunrise and sunset. Life’s journey wearies you as you watch death take away people you know, like and love. At first when you are young it is as an extraordinary and shocking event but later it is with increasing normalcy. The experience of suffering – both physical and mental – is as much as optimism the reason why old men plants trees. It sounds horrible to say it like this, but without pain we cannot be fully human and so should we allow the law to shield us from the full experience of life?

    The cycle of life is a human experience, not a legal one. We should not legislate the circumstances that legalise killing. The creation of a minimum set of standards for euthenasia also creates the check list to get rid of an inconvenient granny burning through the inheritance in the rest home, which is where the logic of this ends. The end of a human life is already well managed in the case of pain. I know in at least two cases where death occurred when in the doctor adjudged the dose of morphine required to control the pain and, with the consent of the family, administered that dose. Coma was then was followed by death. These decisions were made as human choices by humans acting as moral beings. There was no need for a law.

    So what of dementia and alzheimers, the other great fears at the end of life? Often it will be too late to to make an informed choice. Should your family then eventually get to choose (and mark my words, as soon as this law is in place this will be the first extension of it)? I would argue the biggest victims of these diseases is not the sufferer themselves, but the family watching the decline. the victim is barely cogniscent anymore of anything.

    This law, then, is aimed at easing the suffering of the unaffected, rather that providing dignity to the afflicted.

    • JanM 9.1

      Yes, that’s the really scary bit, isn’t it – other people somehow being able to manipulate this law to rid themselves of someone seen as useless or a nuisance – particularly the elderly

    • Whispering Kate 9.2

      Sanctuary – Amen, I agree totally.

    • Ross 9.3

      without pain we cannot be fully human and so should we allow the law to shield us from the full experience of life?

      Well, that’s an interesting viewpoint, but I’m not sure either you or I are in any position to say: “You haven’t suffered enough!” Not to mention that we all have different pain threshholds. Are you sure your opposition to this bill isn’t related to your hatred of Act? I dislike Act as much as the next person – as long as the next person isn’t Richard Prebble – but I’m also not a fan of telling others what to do. It’s their life and only they know how much pain they’re in. And as I’ve stated above, doctors and nurses already administer drugs or withhold treatment when making end of life decisions. How about we bring that decision-making out in the open…

      • Sanctuary 9.3.1

        It is just my POV. I was anxious though to point out there is a nuanced philosophical argument against this proposed law that isn’t based on just “but God says so”.

        • Ross

          Maybe…but it seems your POV is that we all experience pain. Well, that is true but I’m not sure that more is less in this case. 🙂

    • Richard Christie 9.4

      consulting with it’s bishops, philosophers and ethicists in a wide ranging public discourse on this law

      I don’t see that first group on that list as having any special authority on ethical matters.

      Furthermore, pain has not the importance you appear to attribute it. Palliative care’s ability to control pain is used those opposed to choice in this matter as a means to shut down closer examination of the subject of suffering.

      There are many horrible ways to die suffering that don’t involve unbearable pain. As a recipient of a double lung transplant I’ve been there, right to the edge. I also know my transplanted organs will eventually fail and I’ll go there again. Except this time I’ll make sure I won’t.

      So to all the arsehole moralists who want to condemn me to again suffocating slowly to death I ask you to go fuck yourselves.

      • adam 9.4.1

        Get a gun and do yourself in Richard Christie, just don’t ask anyone else to kill you. I don’t care if you do that. If you want choice, then make a choice, no one is stopping you. The law as it stands, stops other people from killing you. Which I think is a good thing.

        • Richard Christie

          Behold, the inhumanity that is religion.

          • marty mars

            Good luck with the journey Richard. I had a heart attack 2 months ago and know a little about looking at life and death. My mother died stroke after stroke after stroke over 7 years. I had enduring power of attorney but life and death are fucking messy businesses.
            Adam you have no idea with your fundamentalist attitude – your compassion valve is fucked up mate. You are trying to be kind in your moralistic ‘i’ll save you’ mode, and ending up condeming people to misery and suffering.

            • adam

              When just once have I said any of the strawmen you labeling me with marty mars? In other words you are just making shit up. But I’d would not expect any less in this discussion.

              • You said noone else should assist someone with dying even though the dying person may have asked or begged and given consent to that person to help because in your opinion that is murder.

                What but of that have I got wrong?

                So nothing made up at all try arguing the idea not the person Adam.

                • adam

                  I’ve said, you should not ask anyone else to kill you. More importantly, we should not medical professionals to kill you.

                  You said “Adam you have no idea with your fundamentalist attitude – your compassion valve is fucked up mate. You are trying to be kind in your moralistic ‘i’ll save you’ mode, and ending up condeming people to misery and suffering.”

                  and I called your strawman.

                  • It’s one of the basic arguments so many have made to you, from different angles – it’s the point you can’t see because you have a rigid moealistic position. When you don’t allow people their agency, responsibility and ultimately human rights to chose when they will die, after rigorous checks, tests and levels of consent, then you actually condem real people to suffering. There has been testament to the type of suffering shared by some on this very post.
                    Try reading from the top again and allow your much vaulted (by yourself) compassion for people to absorb. You may have a revelation.

                    • Bill

                      Adam hasn’t argued that people should be denied the right to kill themselves.

                      I’m curious as to why you seem relaxed to cede the authority to judge “your” decision as either right or wrong, permitted or denied to the state. What’s with that?

                    • adam

                      So you’re arguing my morality is worse than your morality. OK marty mars. Whatever you want to throw your strawman hat at, I can’t stop you.

                      If you read my points you would find I oppose this bill, for what I personally believe are valid reasons. When people have picked on my language, I’ve changed it, but my point stays the same. This bill as it stands, is bankrupt. It does nothing but give the state the right to tell people who can kill and not kill other people. That the state decides, this is worrying at least, and dead wrong at best.

                      If you think it’s compassionate to kill people, that is where your morality and mine clash. Hence why this is a heated argument on many sides. And I have never argued for suffering, others have but not me. I’ve argued we have alternatives, and we should explore them, before we start down the slippery slope of give the state the right to killing it’s own citizens, even if it done under the name of compassion. Ironically the German government in the 1930’s used the same arguments you are using. Which is nothing more than an observation, not a Godwin.

                    • Bill Yes I know Adam is okay if people commit suicide in these circumstances – so what. If someone helps them that is murder – that is a fundy view imo. I’m not interested in your curiosities.

                      As for you Adam – I’ve tried to engage in good faith with you and broke my own rules about trying to reason with fundys. Thank you for helping me reaffirm that position which I’m now going back to. I will not engage anymore on this thread.

                    • Bill

                      If someone helps them that is murder is the view of NZs current law ffs.

                      Which was why, having come very late to this thread, I was “interested” to note a certain ‘pile-on’ at Adam’s reference to murder. (I note he also said on a few occasions he’d use the word ‘kill’ instead of ‘murder’…not that it seems to stopped people pointing ill-informed fingers)

                      edit – ceding authority to the state is no less ‘fundy’ than ceding it to a god. It’s essentially the same in a psychological sense, except the latter holds far less potential for very bad shit.

                    • adam

                      mary mars

                      If morality is different, you need to calm down and accept it – rather than throw out labels and ad hominems like you do. Because it just makes it worse.

                      You are not willing to engage with any of my points, becasue you are already always listening. You’re not willing to look at my whole argument, you just want to be right, and condemn anyone who disagrees with you as wrong.

                      If you call me a fundamentalist then you might want to learn the word, seeing as we all picking on words in this thread.


                      Because I’m not, nor have I ever been a literalist, as for a strict one. Sheesh, that be even harder.

                      I’d say up you game, but you’re not listening, so I’m just waving words around.

                    • Bill I was talking about Adams position – don’t try to put words or motivation in my mouth.

                      Adam – typical response – always someones else’s fault and problem – ffs what a waste of time.

                    • adam

                      marty mars,

                      But what else is new, you swear at me on a regular basis, and get all prickly when I call you on your shit. I should not be surprised when you get all huffy this time.

                      By the way I take it from these responses – down, was just made up by you, as you have no interest in theology becasue we’re all fundamentalist.

                    • Bill

                      I quoted your words exactly. I didn’t put any in your mouth. And I pointed out that the law says that helping some-one to die is tantamount to murder – that it’s not some religious take on the matter.

                      Proposing that the state play God and decide on matters of life and death is…well, kinda funny coming from those who’ve slated a certain amount of ire off towards those with some form of religious conviction, don’t you think?

                    • weka

                      “I’m curious as to why you seem relaxed to cede the authority to judge “your” decision as either right or wrong, permitted or denied to the state. What’s with that?”

                      I haven’t read all the comments, but if this hasn’t been addressed then this conversation is seriously skewed. The reason for state involvement is to prevent vulnerable people e.g. the elderly or disabled, from being either murdered or pressured/encouraged to take their own lives. Leaving aside the people that have moral objections to suicide, that’s the critical point of tension in the debate.

                      If the state is going to regulate the means of assisted suicide (pharmaceuticals) and I think there’s a pretty good case that it should rather than making the drugs available over the counter, then it makes sense to me that that regulation should determine usage, just like it does with other serious drugs.

                      The idea that people can kill themselves without state help is just not real if we are talking about lessening suffering. It’s actually very hard to kill oneself, and even more do if one has limited physical capacity, which is what we are talking about with many of the people wanting assistance. Hence we need some laws to enable that and still provide protection.

                    • weka

                      Again, haven’t read the whole conversation, but just seen adam basically arguing that people that want to kill themselves can use a gun. Presumably it’s ok for terminally ill people to kill themselves in a risky and difficult way without support.

                      What euthanasia legislation does (haven’t read the current Bill) is enable terminally ill people to kill themselves without having to do so violently or without companionship when they do it. Both those things are central to this debate where the point is about ending suffering.

                      Further, some people can’t kill themselves due to disability. Where they need assistance to do something that able bodied people can do, NZ society generally puts measures in place to help with that. There are definitely issues around protecting disabled people, but it’s ridiculous to suggest that everyone can (a) get a gun licence and (b) have the capacity to use it.

                    • Bill

                      Your response doesn’t touch on the issue of ceding to the state the authority to accept or ‘strike down’ a personal decision /choice to not continue living.

                    • weka

                      Probably because I think that’s secondary to protecting vulnerable people from being murdered or pressured to kill themselves.

                      But please do make the case for how assisted suicide could happen without the state involvement (given the state still exists) and still provide protections.

                      There are things about the Bill I don’t like either (e.g. that a medical practitioner has to administer), and I’m not suggesting the Bill is perfect (nor that I would vote for it). This process is where we are meant to hash those things out.

                      edited typo.

                    • Bill

                      The fundamental question is what moral or other right does the state (or any other external authority) have to over-ride a person’s stated intention or wish to die?

                      It’s beyond me how that can possibly be seen as “secondary” – and especially given the reasons you put forward. As I asked elsewhere, what is the track record for states that have assumed that kind of moral and legal authority? As far as my knowledge goes, it’s not flash.

                      So the claim (a priori) that it would be protecting vulnerable people from being murdered or pressured to kill themselves really is just an article of faith given the history of states for inflicting deep harm across populations.

                      And that’s before taking into consideration the very real danger for (to use a military term) “mission creep”. It tends to always happen when we cede power and authority to external agencies.

                      I have no solution. I said that elsewhere too. We haven’t organised ourselves as a society in any way even close to being able to adequately address this kind of stuff.

                      Something will come out “in the wash” no doubt. And some or enough or most people will find it palatable.

                    • weka

                      The fundamental question is what moral or other right does the state (or any other external authority) have to over-ride a person’s stated intention or wish to die?

                      I think I already answered that. There is no law against killing oneself in NZ currently. What we’re talking about is where someone needs assistance to do that, in this case via pharmaceuticals. Because the state regulates pharmaceuticals for pretty good reasons (safety mostly, leaving aside other problematic issues with drug control), I think it’s reasonable that it regulates in this instance too. We want euthanasia drugs to be as safe as they can be, for the process to be as low risk as it can be.

                      Should that be available to lay people directly? I think so, but I also think that is hugely problematic because there are enough people that don’t have the skills or intent to use well.

                      So the state in fact isn’t overriding a person’s stated intention to die. It’s saying if you want to use this implement here, then there are going to be some rules around that.

                      It’s hard to see how we could do away with that without making death drugs available OTC. I don’t see that as desirable personally.

                      It’s beyond me how that can possibly be seen as “secondary” – and especially given the reasons you put forward. As I asked elsewhere, what is the track record for states that have assumed that kind of moral and legal authority? As far as my knowledge goes, it’s not flash.

                      Is this the slippery slope argument? That if NZ becomes a fascist state then an existing euthanasia law makes it easier to for the state to kill people. I guess I think that if we become fascist then euthanasia laws won’t be highest on the list of things to worry about, but I’m open to some examples (I’m guessing you’re thinking of something I don’t know about)

                      So the claim (a priori) that it would be protecting vulnerable people from being murdered or pressured to kill themselves really is just an article of faith given the history of states for inflicting deep harm across populations.

                      Well that depends on what you are proposing. If you are suggesting that we don’t change the law, then yes, what we have now is more safe than a euthanasia law. But if you are suggesting that we replace what we have now with free access to death drugs with not legal/state involvement, then I will refer you to the people who already have a lot of experience with the oppression of disabled people. Have a listen to what they are saying about it. It’s not pretty.

                      And that’s before taking into consideration the very real danger for (to use a military term) “mission creep”. It tends to always happen when we cede power and authority to external agencies.

                      I have no solution. I said that elsewhere too. We haven’t organised ourselves as a society in any way even close to being able to adequately address this kind of stuff.

                      I think the issues you are raising are pertinent and interesting, but also they are based in political abstraction (that’s not a pejorative). I’d like to see that put in the context of very real issues that exist now around disability. It’s complex, I can argue pro and con arguments from a disability politics pov, but given the law is likely to change I think those issues are paramount. This is why I think they take precedence over valid but theoretical arguments about the role of the state. We know that there are people already alive right now who would be at risk of badly written euthanasia laws, or no laws around them at all.

                    • Bill

                      I take your point about it differing from other instances of deliberately ending life insofar as the person must have – or at least be believed to have – a terminal illness or grievous and irremediable medical condition.

                      But once that’s been established, I’m falling over on the tiers of permissions required by clauses 9 through 14. Is the suggestion that the criteria satisfied in clause 8 (cut and pasted above) suddenly alter? Or that a medical practitioner gets to determine how far along a terminal condition proceeds, or how long an irremediable condition must be tolerated before death is allowed?

                      I’m a bit tired to be flipping between the various section 11(3)(c)(iii) and section 10(2)(c) etc, running in conjunction with x,y, and/or z under sections 12 through 14 at the moment to step my way through it.

                      In response to the rest of your comment. No. I’m not putting forward a “slippery slope argument”. I’m just alluding to the fact that “the state” isn’t benign (US state run sterlisation programmes come to mind. Removal of children – eg, Roma in Switzerland, indigenous in Australia. Deportation of orphans – eg England. Improper or unethical drug testing – the US again from hazy memory)

                      And that leads on to my prior comment about the state supposedly offering (paraphrasing) “protection to vulnerable people”.

                      Also I think it’s worth paying attention to this unfolding within a medical context that has been subjected to business models of operation that includes privatisation. Performance targets and money can act as quite strong and perverse incentives when decisions have to be made.

                      I agree it’s complex and that complexity goes beyond ethical and legal considerations . For reasons already stated, I don’t think our society is capable of producing good solutions on this one. Workable perhaps. But not much more.

          • adam

            So you don’t want to die then? What is it Richard Christie? You want other people to kill you? My point was simple – stop asking other people to kill you, and I’m inhuman.

            What a winner, personally I’d prefer you don’t kill yourself, but if I’m going to “So to all the arsehole moralists who want to condemn me to again suffocating slowly to death I ask you to go fuck yourselves” then I gave you choice, and it’s wrong. Where are you going with your line of thought?

        • Richard Christie

          Get a gun and do yourself in Richard Christie, just don’t ask anyone else to kill you. I don’t care if you do that.

          OK. Here’s a scenario Adam will be completely comfortable with.

          Assenting medical professionals supply, at my request (perhaps even at my expense) , and drugs and equipment to euthanise me. At a time I deem appropriate I’ll flick the switch to enable the pumps to infuse the drugs.

          Such equipment already exists.

          Happy with that Adam?

          (waits while Adam consults his magic book)

          • adam

            You can do that now. Why do you need a new law that says that?

            But , you want other people to kill you right? You want other people to assist you? You don’t want to make the choice yourself? Am I right or wrong?

            • Richard Christie

              You can do that now.

              Not legally, to which you must agree or tell another lie.

              • adam

                Richard Christie, you could get a gun licence, then buy a gun, then shot yourself now? Where the law stopping that? Why do you need the state to sanction your death, why is that so important to you?

                • Richard Christie

                  Yes I could.

                  It’s not about sanctioning at all. It’s about respecting a choice.

                  You are comfortable with my scenario then?

                  I simply choose to replace the gun with properly administered drugs.

                  (Not wanting to put someone else through the trauma of scraping my brains off the walls, consideration for others etc)

                  So? Are you comfortable with my scenario or not?

                  • adam

                    Not comfortable, but I won’t stop you.

                    Edit: Under the proviso the state, or other people are not involved.

                    • adam

                      Any chance you could answer my questions, or are you going to carry on doing a Gosman, Richard Christie?

                    • Richard Christie

                      Any chance you could answer my questions, or are you going to carry on doing a Gosman, Richard Christie?

                      Go back to 4.1 (or earlier) and re-read this thread. See who ignores the questions. Note how I had to wait until 3 degrees deeper than to get an answer to the first question I put.

                    • adam

                      Irony is a wonderful thing, I do answer you question, after someone else jumped in the thread.

                      So let me ask again Richard Christie – you want other people to kill you right? You want other people to assist you? You don’t want to make the choice yourself? Am I right or wrong?

              • adam

                Stop the whole it’s a “lie” thing it’s a really disingenuous way to argue.

                No one can stop you from killing yourself.

                Edit: no one in recent time has been prosecuted for trying to kill themselves.

                • Richard Christie

                  Stop the whole it’s a “lie” thing it’s a really disingenuous way to argue.

                  No, no, no . That won’t do.

                  You wrote that “You can do that now.” [kill myself].

                  By omitting to state that to do so under the proposed scenario is illegal for several parties involved.

                  That is so disingenuous it asymptotically approaches a lie. Needed to be called out and clarified. See 9.4211 for continuation.

                  • adam

                    Call out for clarity then, rather than call someone a liar, because that is a way to start a flame war, but I’m guessing you know that.

                    Who has been prosecuted for trying to kill themselves lately? Got any cases, or have we moved onto being more sympathetic to those who try?

          • adam

            The whole (waits while Adam consults his magic book) makes me think you can’t be rational, and indeed are quite irrational.

            • Richard Christie

              Well, most faithists of the xstian flavour base their morals and ethical decisions on that thoroughly immoral book, the bible. You know,the one that sanctions slavery.

              If you don’t base your ethics on that book I apologise and withdraw.

              • adam

                You know Aristotle supported slavery too. Seeing as most of you humanist types rely on him. And it was Christians that ended slavery, just in case you need a history lesson.

                I agree, you can’t save the bible from itself. But babies and bathwater types like yourself, I struggle with.

                • Richard Christie

                  And it was Christians that ended slavery, just in case you need a history lesson

                  Well, I’m not interested in your revisionist or fantasy history.

                  I do know that trans-Atlantic slavery was abolished due to efforts of non xstians and xstians alike. It was also championed by many xstians who used their magic book to so do.

                  • adam

                    What is a xstains?

                  • Sanctuary

                    *sigh* The trans-Atlantic slave trade was abolished and suppressed by the Royal Navy, who were as far as i am aware 99.9% Christians.

                    The common law has held since Elizabethan times that is was impossible to be a slave in England, whilst from the the beginning of the 18th century, confirmed in 1772, all slaves arriving in England were immediately emancipated. Indeed, the 1772 decision that slavery was unsupported by the common law was one of the instigators of the American revolution, where Southern slave holders feared the common law would soon be applied to the colonies (oddly, this is never mentioned in American histories of the revolution…).

                    In 1787 William Wilberforce dedicated his life to the abolishing of slavery in the British Empire. In 1807 the UK banned the trading in slaves, and in 1808 set about enforcing it’s ban on the high seas, much to the annoyance of the rest of the world who resented having their entirely legal cargoes of slaves seized on the high seas by Royal Navy sloops (bullying super power behaviour at it’s naughtiest!!) Between 1808 and 1860, the Royal Navy captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans.

                    In 1811 all slave trading was banned throughout the British Empire and in 1833 the institution of slavery itself was abolished by the UK.

                    It isn’t fashionable to acknowledge it nowadays, but it was the high handed and unilateral actions of the one naval superpower – the British – of the time that was almost completely responsible for the suppression of the Atlantic slave trade, and that the great moral drive to abolish slavery in the UK originated in the Christian thought of the Quakers and Evangelicals like Wilberforce.

                    If only Brian Tamaki and Colin Craig were cut from the same cloth.

                    • Richard Christie

                      *sigh* The trans-Atlantic slave trade was abolished and suppressed by the Royal Navy, who were as far as i am aware 99.9% Christians.

                      followed by

                      In 1787 William Wilberforce dedicated his life to the abolishing of slavery in the British Empire

                      Your opening statement is not only a logically inconsistent with the other sentence above (as no mention of Wilberforce being commissioned into the Royal Navy in any biography I’ve read) but confuses the agent of enforcement (the Navy) with the social political drivers behind the deployment of enforcement.

                      Your comment is a curious mixture of fact, fiction (the Royal Navy, who were as far as i am aware 99.9% Christians) and non sequitur.

          • Bill

            If you did that now (a self-administered over-dose or similar), but where your lifelong partner supplied the drug or drugs, then they would be had up on some murder charge.

            At present, and as the law stands, I don’t think they should be prosecuted, but they do have some grounds for defence . If the End of Life Choice bill becomes enacted, then your partner would have no defence whatsoever.

            And yet, it’s about choice?

            So….you can choose to have the state kill you. Or not. End of choice. It’s a denial of choice, a narrowing of the playing field and a nasty intrusion into peoples’ personal lives that extends state power.

            • Richard Christie

              Agreed, and all the greater reason to take the responsibility out of the hands of “lifelong partners” etc.

              • adam

                So you support the state deciding?

                • Richard Christie

                  So you support the state deciding?


                  And nothing I’ve written would remotely suggest that.

                  • Bill

                    The state becomes the arbiter of your decision under the proposed “End of Life Choice” bill and decides whether you’ve made a permissible decision or not.

                    In other words, it assumes agency in your stead. It’s fucked up.

              • Bill

                And put it in the hands of an institution?

                If I was to choose to check out and couldn’t do it myself – then I’d really have to be having a damned good look at that decision. But if it only came down to physical incapacity, then the one thing I do know for absolute sure is that I would never willingly authorise the state to kill me.

                So this End of Life Choice conceivably forces me to make a choice against my will. To be reduced to a “lesser of two evils” – unbearable pain (or whatever) and sanctioning the state to end my life.

                That’s not really choice so much as just two bad options.

    • Ad 9.5

      +100 Good work there.

    • greywarshark 9.6

      It would be really good if everyone stopped setting themselves up as emissaries of God and just enabled the passing of a bill that would provide a pathway to death by choice, and allow love and compassion to enter the situation when someone has decided they want to die.

      Some will have counselling and feel they wish to change their mind, others will work through the thinking and decide to carry out the legal requirements (drawn up with careful thoughtful thoroughness after wide consultation). And then let people
      go through the process and go in their own time. This isn’t a matter for the Headmasters or Headmistresses and wannabe cult leaders in our localities to decide on.

    • Incognito 9.7

      You raise a few very interesting points.

      Morality and ethics are not fixed and absolute; they change over time. Laws will need to be amended, adjusted, and repealed over time too. To debate on one worst-case scenario that might or might never happen in future is not sensible IMO; each step leads to another or we stand still and remain in one and the same position forever.

      A patient with neurodegenerative disease (e.g. dementia) or in coma, for example, cannot make any request to end one’s life. There simply is no consent process that leads to a meaningful decision and outcome. Important decisions must be made before it is too late to do so.

      I like your point about pain & suffering being an essential part of life and life’s experience. However, we make decision on a daily basis as to what to experience and what not; we certainly try to avoid pain & suffering. We use avoidance, denial, drugs and all sorts – the ‘success’ of such behaviours is a whole different question. Many of these decisions are made subconsciously. To me, it does therefore seem illogical to want (!) to experience the last part of one’s life and particularly when it is full of pain & suffering.

      I also like to throw in that we are wedded to the Western and Christian-Judeo views of life and the world and that Buddhism, for example, approaches things in quite a different way. I should also add that other countries (in Europe) have and still are actively debating similar issues and there are several options enacted such as the ‘living will’ or ‘advanced directive’.

    • gsays 9.8

      Thanks sanctuary for your thoughts and wisdom.
      The religious loonies comment got my hackles up.
      I don’t identify as Christian nor adhere to a ‘sky fairy’ and I feel great unease with this proposed Bill.

      I am grateful for most of this thread and have become more informed and happy in my thinking, (despite it being unpopular).

      • gsays 9.8.1

        Fwiw my grandmother was nursed to her death from leukemia by my mother when I was 15 and my father had a massive stroke when he was 60 and died a week later.
        I recall being very upset when a euthanasia bill was voted down in 2003.
        Since then my attitude has turned 180° and am now very uncomfortable with the proposed Bill.

  10. Bill 10

    How long ago was it that the state finally stopped viewing attempted suicide as a capital offense?

    When was the last time a dead person’s partner found themselves in the dock being prosecuted by the state because they’d helped their lover die?

    If I try to kill myself today but am unsuccessful, am I correct in saying I’ll be carted off by the state for psychological assessment and (possibly) be prescribed brain candy or some such to further prevent or hamper me from exercising my free will?

    What is the historical track record of states that have assumed the right to determine life and death?

    I’ve no problem with people deciding to be done with life.

    But the reality is that we have one “legitimate” interface – that being between the individual and the state – which is remote. And the state has obliterated the type of familiar and personal community environments or settings that might have lent themselves to making such decisions and, where necessary, acting on peoples’ behalf.

  11. SPC 11

    Truism no 1

    It’s not murder if there is consent to being killed.

    Truism no 2

    There are those unable to give consent (dementia/alzeimers)/coma/mental illness/intellectual incapacity), who would be excluded from this if consent was required.

    Truism no 3

    A (legal) right to die and receive assistance for this, runs contrary to concerns about the high rate of suicide in this country.

    Truism no 4

    The estate of the deceased and the state derive financial gain from the early death of those, sick, suffering and disabled.

    • SPC 11.1

      LEGALITY for assisted death

      OPTION 1

      The public dissemination of the means and the supply of the means for suicide.

      Legality of any assistance given by another person for access to, or administration of this means being based on the need for evidence, such as some signed statement or verbal record of consent by the person being killed.

      OPTION 2

      Limiting these killings to authorised persons, who supply and administer the means to assist suicide and who are present at the time of death.

      This is particularly important if these legal killings are limited in scope to those identified by category as falling within the orbit of the legislation (terminal illness involving suffering, desire to avoid extreme incapacity).

    • Richard Christie 11.2

      I don’t know what a “truism” is but those are certainly not all truths.

      • SPC 11.2.1

        You could say which you think are, and which you think are not?

        • Richard Christie

          You could say which you think are, and which you think are not?

          I’m OK with the first.

          I’m not informed enough on the detail of the Bill to comment on the second.

          The third is subjective if regarded as an absolute, as it is arguable it is not a truth.

          The fourth simply may not be true in all cases.

          • SPC

            I did not cite the second with reference to the legislation, my reply to Ad clarifies my reasoning.

            At the very least supporting euthanasia complicates a public campaign to reduce our suicide rate. And should give us pause to be careful on how we conduct it, and the means we allow for lawful killing.

          • Bill

            A short 28 clauses.

            You seriously saying you saw fit to comment on a thread about a specific piece of proposed legislation without even bothering your arse to read the damned thing!?

            • SPC

              Yes. I have simply explained the logic behind my thinking on the euthanasia issue.

              I hardly expect to be voting on the legislation as it now stands, as it will be modified long before any of us vote on it.

              The thing I have yet to get my head around, is whether (once I examine it in the non-news season) I contribute to getting the legislation into the sort of shape that I could support – by communicating with the committee or not.

    • Ad 11.3

      1. If, as in the Jones cult, they all appeared to consent and took the Kool Aid, was there really no murder? Very arguable, and certainly not a truism.

      2. How would a person with lowered intellectual incapacity or mental illness be judged by you as not needing to give their consent before you killed them?

      3. Please explain your reasoning.

      4. Please explain why this is always the case.

      Calling things “truisms” is a weak form of trying to cancel actual argument from reason.

      • SPC 11.3.1

        1. You are presuming diminished capacity – because their religion offended you – for their consent. This is not logical.

        2. You completely misunderstand my point – which is not to affirm the right of anyone to be killed without their consent (see 1).

        3. Why is this required. Do you not perceive any inconsistency?

        4. Because care for the sick, suffering and disabled costs the state money, and an estate cannot be passed on until death (and will decline while the person is unfit to earn and provide for them-self). Which making them interested parties should disqualify them from involvement in the consent process.

        • Ad

          1. I don’t presume anything. You’re the one making the claims about self-evident truths, when they are not.
          Justify your initial statement.

          2. Your point is “not to affirm … without their consent.” Then you should start defending your own double negative. Why not have a go at defining “consent” for starters.

          3. So tell me in plain English then, exactly why “A (legal) right to die and receive assistance to this, runs contrary to concerns about the high rate of suicide in this country”?
          Note that any explanation you make means that it wasn’t a “truism” after all.
          Tell me what is meant by “runs contrary”?

          4. By the melancholic reasoning of your answer to 4, no one at all can be disinterested in the decision. The applicant with the life has the highest interest: death or life in one action. The Doctor administering has a fair amount riding on it too. Disinterestedness is a really really poor base for that kind of ethical decision. Unless you’re a judge.

          • SPC

            1.Given you oppose euthanasia, clearly your purpose is to disparage/undermine the idea of consent (and or otherwise need). And also disparage whatever process for enabling euthanasia in law and practice is being discussed/ considered.
            2. Your failure to understand what excluding those unable to give consent from euthanasia means is not my problem.
            3. As you suggest, it is self evident and only a fool would not appreciate that.
            4. It is pretty obvious why those with any financial interest need to be kept at arms length from the determining of consent and the application of the legislatively mandated process. The same generally applies to most other decision-making procedures.

            • Ad

              Nope, you just a dumb-ass for setting out arguments as “self-evident truths” and thinking you could get away with it.

              Sit up straight and learn to reason.

              • SPC

                An unimpressive resort to denigration, in more ways than one.

                There is an onus to write in proper English when trying to pose as someone of capable of schooling others (it is you are or you’re, not you or as bad, your).

      • Richard Christie 11.3.2

        Well, what do you know, we’re in agreement.

  12. Ad 12

    We “religious loonies” will indeed be submitting on this bill. Always impressed with the religious hatred that is displayed here cloaked within the anonymity of “Notices and Features”. All class.

    It is shabby politics to have this bill being put forward when thousands of New Zealanders went to the effort less than 9 months ago of submitting and fronting up to a Select Committee process on precisely the same thing.

    • Ross 12.1

      If the Bill isn’t passed, you might have to front up again in future. To think that this issue will suddenly disappear if the Bill isn’t passed is naive in the extreme. MPs who voted against gay marriage legislation were on the wrong side of history. Those voting against this Bill are simply putting off the inevitable.

  13. Bill 13

    Why this?

    25. Effect of death under this Act
    A person who dies as a result of the provision of assisted dying is taken for all purposes to have died as if assisted dying had not been provided.

    26 also looks problematic.

    A person is immune from liability in civil or criminal proceedings for acts or omissions in good faith and without negligence in providing or intending to provide assisted dying.

    Good faith is a very “soft” basis for anything. Especially so when it isn’t defined and applies to a group of people sanctioned by the state in a profession with a habit of operating under a “closed shop” mentality (eg similar to the mentality of the police)

    Meanwhile, the couple who love one another and who have promised to help one another die in some range of circumstances still run the risk of being charged with murder.

    So empower the state at the expense of disempowering people? Nah.

    • Ad 13.1

      Would prefer to see the law on the right to sue doctors for medical misadventure and medical malpractice reviewed before we go full hog on euthanasia.

      Stuff always goes wrong, and administering death will be no different.
      The surviving relatives will reasonably expect recourse through the courts to hold them accountable …

      …unless ACC is going to underwrite the whole euthanasia program.
      Which will make for really interesting claim forms.

    • SPC 13.2

      My concern is otherwise.

      I would prefer there be authorised persons able to assist with early death. These not being the medical personnel dealing with health care treatment, nor relatives of the person. Their role to determine the person qualifies (under legislation limiting access) and has given their consent of their own free will.

      • Bill 13.2.1

        And who decides who is and who is not “authorised” and who or what determines the scope or limits of their “authorisation”?

        And how is that higher authority held to account?

        As I’ve indicated on this thread and on another a few days back, I don’t think we’ve organised or ordered our society in a way that can come even close to dealing with this.

        • One Anonymous Bloke


          The ACT party has enough victims already without helping them create more.

          • SPC

            The state would be most dangerous if they authorised relatives to do it.

            Then those seeking the estate and those seeking reduced health costs caring for the aged would form a murderous partnership.

        • SPC

          Given I would like medical practice to remain as it is, and am wary of relatives using forged or manipulated consents, I am left with no recourse to suggest there be those “otherwise” authorised to act.

          It would require legislation defining those it would allow euthanasia for (the authorised person checking the medical situation and the validity of the consent). Not sure those in the “justice of the peace” role would want this, but some similar group could be the ones “authorised”.

          I sort of share your concerns about where we are at as a society in regard to such matters (health service funding/aged care and all). And I also wonder whether there would continue to be a majority for euthanasia when it comes to supporting any specific legislation/path or approach (given the divergence here amongst supporters).

        • One Two

          I don’t think we’ve organised or ordered our society in a way that can come even close to dealing with this

          Completely agree, Bill

          IMO, this is the core topic for discussion, consensus and remediation which should preceeded any euthanasia’law’…

          That it’s seemingly not on the table, should serve as a chilling affirmation of how ill equipped ‘society’ is to ‘deal with’ the subject ..

  14. greywarshark 14

    ACC is a bit of a bog and could have bad regulations and interpretations introduced which would undermine rights that had been gained through well written legislation. Who knows what obsessed, cunning and religiously authoritarian politicians and prissy CEOs could be ready to advance their own narrow imprinted ideas on the rest of the polity.

  15. One Two 16

    Although the initial intent was to limit euthanasia and assisted suicide to a last-resort option for a very small number of terminally ill people, some jurisdictions now extend the practice to newborns, children, and people with dementia.

    A terminal illness is no longer a prerequisite.

    In the Netherlands, euthanasia for anyone over the age of 70 who is “tired of living” is now being considered. Legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide therefore places many people at risk, affects the values of society over time, and does not provide controls and safeguards


    • SPC 16.1

      There will be those who would rather have euthanasia than go into dementia care, but for there to be consent this would have to occur before they went full onset – and presumably then only apply at that later stage.

  16. greywarshark 17

    The vast majority of physicians do not want to be involved in killing people or in helping them to kill themselves. To require them to do so is to change the primary meaning of medicine as a healing profession. It is fundamentally dishonest to present killing as an act of therapy or healing.

    It seems that the vast majority of people are unable to hold a collection of ideas in their heads and prioritise and sort them into something cogent. When it comes to euthanasia the mere fact that one example or feeling can be brought against it, well that means that it isn’t a tenable idea.

    The above about physicians and GPs is probably correct thought it is an opinion plucked out of prejudice.

    There would be no need for medical people to be involved. The DHB would keep records of registered assisting doctors, and there would be preliminaries to be gone through before taking any steps.

    Every problem could be dealt with. Every concern raised is a niggle that doesn’t allow for any consideration for the afflicted one, only a strong desire to not be asked to take any action of a responsible nature for other citizens benefit. That appears to be really hard. Who cares about people in a compassionate and rational way. Not the denizens of the chattering classes anyway.

  17. greywarshark 18

    Just looking at how far the commenters here can stray from the vital subject of euthanasia which requires good citizens to think and discuss about what can be done for other people who are in pain and have had enough life to know they have had enough.

    I certainly won’t now expect anything like rational and compassionate arguments from the general public, and there will be a lot irrational from the god-botherers; is there anyone else out there with bits of brain to rub together to make a spark?

    • One Two 18.1

      Including yourself, are you GW?

      Your comments on this thread, IMO have relieved you of credibilty

      Personal attacks, insulting and belittling name calling (in the very comment I’m replying to no less)…

      Hypocrisy abounds, at the very least

      Consider benching yourself on this one is the right call

      Good for you to realize it!

  18. Lucy 19

    OK for most of you this is an academic exercise – for me it is not. I have MS which under the conditions of this bill will mean I have the option to commit assisted suicide any time this law is enacted. But does that mean that the health service no longer needs to supply the expensive infusions and pain relief that I need to continue to have a quality of life? This law gives me the ‘right to die’, no law gives me the right to a good quality of life.
    One of the symptoms of my disease is depression, if I decide to die when I have a bout of depression my cognitive ability is impaired and I am killing myself when I am of not sound mind – which means the state should intervene and treat that symptom, not allow an illegal act to occur.
    I have always thought that euthanasia is because the people left who are uncomfortable with the process of dying. Have heard the ‘you wouldn’t let a dog go through this’ argument a lot but haven’t really heard enough of the let the dying die in dignity and with enough pain relief argument because it is not fast and does not fit in with the death needs to not inconvenience the living ethos.

    • SPC 19.1

      I am not sure how the legislation deals with this, but the point you make is worthy of a submission – so you should have a read. I would hope that they do provide some checks and balances – such as determination as to whether the person seeking euthanasia is depressed at the time.

      Your other point, about the quality of medical care, is not really part of the select committee orbit. Albeit pertinent to how society treats those with medical conditions involving continuing decline whether physical or mental (as in dementia), let alone those with terminal illness and going through pain and suffering.

    • Incognito 19.2

      Hi Lucy,

      I respond knowing that this is sensitive and personal. I hope I won’t offend or worse, hurt.

      I don’t think this is just an academic exercise. We can deal with the issues intellectually and rationally but this will only get us so far. It is also a moral and psychological dilemma. And most of all, it is an emotional one.

      You have MS and many do not yet know what is going to happen to them. Also, many have had first-hand experiences with loved ones. Perhaps it is a matter of being close or relatively distant, but it (i.e. illness, disease, death] does affect all of us, sooner or later.

      As members of this society, we should receive the best available medical treatment & care. Unfortunately, there are limits to what medical care can achieve. I think this Bill aims to deal with that what is beyond the reach of current medical knowledge and capability. The good news is that medical science is progressing but nobody can predict when new treatments or procedures may become available.

      I don’t want to sound insensitive about depression – I know full well how it can colour everything in life – but it is generally manageable as long as it is properly diagnosed.

      I wish you well and I think you may want to make a submission because you have important questions to ask and points to make.

    • Rosemary McDonald 19.3

      Lucy…I tried up thread to convey this…you have done it so much better.

      I suspect that the average Kiwi has no idea that under the MOH…there is no entitlement to anything….treatment, equipment, supplies, home and vehicle modification or simply funded home and community support services.

      Whenever this topic raises its ugly head I recall how some years ago a middle aged woman who had had a severe brain bleed a couple of decades earlier declared she was going to cease eating and drinking.

      Cue the Right to Die lobbyists who shamelessly used this woman’s crisis as a platform for their cause.

      Lost in the resultant mire was the trigger for this woman deciding to starve herself to death.

      She had requested funding for a text to speech machine and a cushion for her bloody wheelchair.

      She was told by the bureaucrats “no”…as I am 100% sure she had heard many times before…but this time was one too many.

      My tetraplegic partner knew exactly where this lady was coming from.

      The MOH:DSS are utter bastards with their targeting, prioritisation and means and asset testing.

      They want, I’m pretty convinced, people living with disabilities to simply give up….

      Thank you for commenting on this issue…I comment on disability issues and always run my disability related comments past my partner…but I do not have a disability so I feel my credibility lacks the heft of someone who has.

  19. Ross 20

    Adam thinks the terminally ill can simply shoot themselves. Let’s say that happens and a bullet richochets and kills a young child. Would that be a tragedy or farce?

    Adam and others who seem to oppose this bill haven’t addressed the fact that doctors and nurses make end-of life decisions now. Some doctors (and nurses) are happy to administer drugs – or withhold treatment – in the knowledge that to do so will likely see the patient die. Shouldn’t we have a formal process to ensure doctors and nurses are acting professionally and ethically in accordance with the patient’s wishes?

  20. One Two 21

    When insurance companies and entities such as pharmac deny/cut funding for medicines/treatment which could be the thin line between living a life, and choosing assisted death…

    Now the (already) financially captured state aparatus is removing the parachute and pushing people off the cliff..

    All very progressive

    • greywarshark 21.1

      One Two
      Does the Bill say ” state aparatus is removing the parachute” ?
      I think we definitely ought to watch out for loopholes which an inhuman literally, AI computer-run system could be set up to dispense! But also as humans try to keep some control over our own lives and bodies, according to carefully drawn laws.

  21. gsays 22

    Fwiw my grandmother was nursed to her death from leukemia by my mother when I was 15 and my father had a massive stroke when he was 60 and died a week later.
    I recall being very upset when a euthanasia bill was voted down in 2003.
    Since then my attitude has turned 180° and am now very uncomfortable with the proposed Bill.

  22. Muttonbird 23

    Odd that the major promotion for this comes from two of the most hard right individuals you’ll ever find in NZ being Seymour who leads a 0.5% party, and his mentor Farrar who was involved in dirty politics.

    I’m with adam as far as his criticism of NRT. For NRT to ask for open debate but then call anyone who disagrees a religious nutter is RWNJ stuff.

    Clearly, as proven above, this is an issue where some lefties side with Seymour and Farrar and some RWNJs depart from them.

    It’s a conscience issue and people approach it with different concerns. Mine is the ongoing pressure on sick people from some families, the DHBs, the drug companies, the insurance companies and a host of others, that their lives are so worthless they may as well do themselves in.

    • Ross 23.1

      For NRT to ask for open debate but then call anyone who disagrees a religious nutter is RWNJ stuff.

      Except that’s not what NRT has said. NRT has said that religious “loonies” will get to have their say. Indeed they will. I doubt you’d want to invite the KKK to a debate about improving race relations, but then I could be wrong.

      Mine is the ongoing pressure on sick people from some families, the DHBs, the drug companies, the insurance companies and a host of others, that their lives are so worthless they may as well do themselves in.

      Of course that could happen, just as it can happen now. Once again you’ve ignored the fact that doctors and nurses already administer drugs to terminally ill patients in the knowledge that those drugs will likely kill their patients. Is it better to do that on the quiet or out in the open where it can be scrutinised?

  23. greywarshark 24

    Thanks Ross for your consistently reasonable comments. It has been disappointing that there has not been more enlightened discussion here.

    Most seems to be related to the personal feelings or experiences of the commenters. While these provide real background to the thinking of those people, it is not enough for people to make decisions affecting others who are requesting that action be taken, based only on whatever emotion they woke up with in the morning.

    The rigid religious are incapable of forming reasoned opinions themselves and must turn to dogma for their responses. But other mature citizens can be expected to think through the situation and seek to not withhold permission for wanted rights. But they don’t, so much for democracy and the wisdom of the masses. Propaganda for the status quo and offering examples of possible failures and rorts is enough to sway the mass mind to snap closed like a steel door. Where do reason, concern and kindness to the needy and respect for choice get a look in then?

  24. greywarshark 25

    It would be good if society could set up a system that people could follow which would provide a clear trail and a clean one to a choice of death, and ways, and support and love from family and friends before and at the end. It could be adopted by those who are adults over certain age, or with certain condition that was chronic and had been treated and controlled but not cured.

    I would like to die when I have had enough of suffering the shocks to my illusions about people and the world, or when I feel my mind going and dementia setting in, or I go blind or become immobilised or in pain. Then I could do an audit on myself as to the cost benefit to me of staying alive, of hanging about waiting for a ‘natural’ death after I stopped taking my heart pills etc. It might be the last straw if I became chronically incontinent. (Billy Connolly said that one thing he was afraid of in old age was smelling of pee. These little things get you down in spirits you know.)

    When I could freely choose to go and had followed all the requirements and done my choice of leave-taking, I would say goodbye to those who wanted to be with me, and then I would have close family and friends who felt able to support me to the end stay and hold my hand while I went through the final method that was available. Dying and being with the dying is a difficult thing but the fine thing that is loving connection with others would be a joy as well as a wrench as one stepped away.

    At present I would have to send all my family away to spend time miserably somewhere reasonably public so they couldn’t be accused and taken to Court possibly for assisting me to die.

    I think the present system is shit and all the fine arguments about bringing in possibilities for this or that to happen and why it shouldn’t be done are all based on a self-involved, money-oriented, judgmental and prescriptive way of looking at things that disempowers the person, and replaces their will or wish with others skewed views of life.

    For instance saying that if people feel they are a nuisance then they should not be given the demise option, or if others may obtain money – perhaps younger members of the family. These thoughts should be discussed, but if the person is adamant, and set procedures are followed, why should others’ opinions and prejudices over-ride that of the individual who is prepared to move on. Probably the way to ensure this is for the person to explain their feelings clearly to the people involved and have a discussion about the matter with the help of a counsellor, and the matter would then have sunlight on it , have been exposed and discussed, and no mutterings about impropriety would be raised later to mar the memory of the end of life event.

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