End of Life Choice Bill unethical, dangerous and unprogressive – NZ Bishops

end of life choice bill

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops have voiced strong opposition to the End of Life Choice Bill in their written submission to the Justice Select Committee.

The Bishops say that while some popular polls claim that New Zealanders are in support of the Bill, many commentators note that in fact what they are expressing is a view on a misunderstood notion of “choice.”

“We are also aware of research which shows that support for assisted suicide significantly drops off when some of the practical implications are included in polling.”

In the conclusion to their submission, they say that after consultation and dialogue they think the Bill would be unethical, dangerous and unprogressive.

They note that their extensive network includes:

  • Young people in the large network of Catholic schools
  • The elderly
  • Tangata Whenua on katorika marae
  • New migrants’ groups
  • People serving in rest-homes, hospitals and hospices
  • Friends in other faith communities

“Our whānau, our Pasifika, our Asian peoples and our Pākehā all know we can do better,” they say.

The Bishops say the End of Life Choice Bill is a giant step backwards.

“As the nation delights in Prime Minister Jacinda and Clarke’s news of a baby, we urge that the nation move forward, showing the same delight and respect for our elders and all other vulnerable lives too.

“We call on the New Zealand Parliament to protect the vulnerable, the mentally unwell, the disabled and the elderly.

“We call for a strengthening of support for palliative care facilities and hospices.

“The first Labour Government of this nation saw the need for “care from the cradle to the grave”. In a contemporary manner, may compassion, not fear and threat, continue to stand at the heart of our nation.”

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News category: New Zealand.

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