Assisted Suicide – any law change needs an opt out clause

assisted suicide

New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission has given the “orange light” to assisted suicide.

However, it say  the government should proceed with caution and only if strict safeguards are in place.

The Commission recommends an opt out clause for medical staff and pharmacists who do not want to take part in the process should assisted suicide become legal

In its oral submission to parliament’s Health Select committee the Human Rights Commission’s chief legal adviser Janet Anderson-Bidois the stressed that the commission’s position was neither a “green light” or a “red light”.

“It’s very much an orange light. It’s a ‘proceed with caution if you can safely do so’.”

The Commission’s view is that:

  • Any law change should apply only to the terminally ill
  • Euthanasia should not come at the expense of palliative care
  • There is a minimum age limit
  • There is a prognosis that a person will die within 12 months

Right to Life has written to the Human Rights Commissioner expressing its “deep disappointment and grave concern” at the position taken by the commission.

“As our rights are both universal and inalienable, they may not be taken away from us, nor may we give them up. It is our belief that our human rights are conferred on us at conception by our Creator.”

“Right to Life believes that the submission of the Commission is predicated on the belief that our right to life is not inalienable and that Parliament has a right to amend the Crimes Act to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.”


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , ,