World Suicide Prevention Day 10 September

Euthanasia-Free NZ supports World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September and welcomes the government’s announcement to develop a new suicide prevention strategy and action plan.

“One of the reasons Euthanasia-Free NZ is opposed to the legalisation of assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia is because we believe such a law would undermine suicide prevention”, says Renee Joubert, Executive Officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ.

“Suicide prevention is based on the message that it is not OK to end one’s life (die by suicide). A consistent message would be that it is also not OK to end one’s life with help (die by assisted suicide). Essentially the only difference between suicide and assisted suicide is the number of people involved in bringing the death about.”

“Suffering is subjective – based on a person’s own changeable feelings about their situation. It would be arrogant to imply that one person’s suffering is worse than another person’s suffering. Does a person with cancer necessarily suffer more than a homeless person does? Both people may feel that their suffering has become unbearable to them.”

‘Assisted dying’ legislation for the terminally ill would elevate physical suffering above psychological, financial and relational suffering. A law that would allow an assisted death for only some causes of suffering would be discriminatory and unfair.”

“As a society, let’s continue to find ways to meet people’s real needs and relieve their suffering, whether they are ill or healthy, able-bodied or disabled, rich or poor. State-sanctioned death is not the way to go.”