Saying yes to assisted suicide dangerous

Saying yes to voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide would take New Zealand into dangerous territory, and was open to significant abuse, said Dr John Kleinsman.

“The legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide is not merely a matter of individual choice and should not be based on high-profile individual tragic cases, such as the Lecretia Seales case which has been reported widely in the media,” he said.

Kleinsman is the director of NZ Catholic Bishops Bioethics Nathaniel Centre.

He and Waipuna Hospice chief executive Dr Richard Thurlow were speaking to more than a 100 people gathered at the Central Baptist Church in Tauranga on Sunday.

Kleinsman said once the door had been opened it would be impossible to prevent abuses, no matter how many safeguards were written into a law change, and there were already examples in the Netherlands and Belgium which New Zealand needed to heed.

Dr Thurlow said while Ms Seales’ case was “very sad and hard”, any move to legalise physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia would be “detrimental to society”.


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