Assisted suicide supporters have elitist view of political discourse

end of life choice

The insinuation that the views of people with a faith perspective don’t count or count less is nothing more than an example of bigotry says the Director of The Nathaniel Bioethics Centre, Dr John Kleinsman.

He is surprised and appalled at the disingenuous tactics being employed by assisted suicide supporters, saying they are a smoke screen, a distraction based on an elitist view of what counts as legitimate political discourse. Read full press release

“Some people will express that view in a sentence, others in a few pages. Since when did a person’s view depend on their level of education or ability to be articulate? Kleinsman asked.

“To think otherwise is to imply that some New Zealander’s views count more than others.”

“I believe most New Zealanders, whatever their personal position on this issue, will see such claims for what they are – as an assault on our principles of inclusion and fairness.”

“The idea that some people’s views count more than others is a very small step away from the very dangerous view that some lives matter more than others – something that disabled people encounter all the time.”

Both Matt Vickers and Act MP David Seymour have in recent days described the unprecedented number of submissions to the Health Select Committee and the overwhelming 78% opposition to a law change as nothing more than the result of formulaic submissions collected in bulk by mostly religious institutions or as religious bullying from the pulpit by pastors.

Can a Catholic chair the inquiry?

Those who favour assisted suicide are also questioning the suitability of MP Simon O’Connor to chair the inquiry, because he “spent almost a decade studying for the priesthood with the Society of Mary before deciding he couldn’t be a politico and a cleric.”

They are asking how someone publicly opposed to euthanasia can chair an inquiry into it.

However Vickers says O’Connor has a job to do and the expectation is that he’ll be “capable of wearing two hats”.

Religion not the only basis for opposition to assisted suicide

Kleinsman also challenged the assumption that that the only possible basis for opposition to assisted suicide is a religious one.

“Just read the many evidence-based submissions by professional groups and others” he said.

“It is actually impossible to know the precise numbers of submitters whose views on assisted suicide may be influenced by their faith.”

“One analysis of the submissions shows that approximately 17% of opponents and 4% of supporters of a law change drew on religious concepts,” said Kleinsman.


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