Earlier this week Labour MP Maryan Street officially submitted her ‘End of Life Choice bill’ to the private members ballot.
According to the NZ Medical Association, euthanasia can never be considered an ethical practice even if legislation is passed to allow it.
Furthermore, extensive experience around the world has shown that no legal safeguards have been sufficient to prevent some doctors from arbitrarily killing their patients.
Click the image to the left to download the text of the bill.
Some of the key features of the bill are:
- that the person making the request must be mentally competent, as attested by 2 medical practitioners – and that there is no coercion involved
- that the person suffers from a terminal illness which is likely to cause death within 12 months, or from an irreversible physical or mental condition that, in the person’s view, renders his or her life unbearable
- A 7 day reflection period
- Can do an end of life directive, while mentally competent, specifying wishes. Must be renewed every five years
- Medical practitioners can refuse to be involved
- Family members can not annul the wishes of the applicant (unlike with organ donations!)
- An annual review of how the law is being operated
(Source for this summary: Kiwiblog.co.nz)