“I regularly encounter people who fear being kept alive by machines,” says Renée Joubert, executive officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ. “Many New Zealanders are unaware that they have the option of refusing resuscitation, life support and/or life-prolonging treatment if they wish to do so. These choices are legal and ethical.”
Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are commonly confused with switching off life support, ‘do-not-resuscitate- orders or with the refusal of life-prolonging treatment.
“When meeting someone who tells me they support voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, I often discover a few minutes into the conversation that they are actually supportive of options already available to them,” reports Ms Joubert. “They are usually surprised to find out that ‘assisted dying’ involves the administration of lethal drugs to deliberately end someone’s life.”
Euthanasia-Free NZ want New Zealanders to be fully informed about legal end-of-life care options and encourage the public to discuss their preferences with their loved ones and doctors.