A change of heart about the End of Life Choice Bill

end of life choice bill

Claire Freeman’s active and carefree life was destroyed at just 17.

She was permanently physically disabled in a car crash caused by her mother.

It was a moment in time that changed both their lives forever and caused Claire to try to end hers on many occasions.

But after decades of difficulties and depression, shes made a major u-turn on her wish to live and is now determined to save other peoples lives.

TVNZ’s Sunday Programme on May 26 told Claire’s story and revealed why she has changed her mind about the End of Life Choice Bill.

Chris Fords, a Dunedin-based writer and researcher who focuses on disability, economic and social issues and identifies as a disabled person, has also changed his mind about the Bill.

“I know that this will put me in the same column as Christian conservatives who also oppose the legislation for moral reasons,” he says in a story posted in Newsroom.

“Personally, this makes me feel very uneasy given that I hold otherwise progressively social liberal views on issues such as abortion and reproductive rights, LGBTI rights, women’s issues and indigenous issues, etc.”

He then goes on to outline from a socialist, progressive and disability rights perspective why he has swung his support to the anti-euthanasia camp.

For Ford, the key arguments for opposing euthanasia is that people who are already marginalised or devalued (such as older and disabled people) would be at high risk from euthanasia.

He acknowledges that when the legislation returns that Seymour is preparing to remove the ‘irremediable conditions’ clause.

However, he thinks a diagnosis of a terminal illness with a prognosis of less than six months is not a definitive time statement.

“A diagnostic timeframe is simply a clinician’s best-informed opinion about when a person may die – nothing else.

He points out that some people can live for many years with a terminal illness or condition and still enjoy a remarkable quality of life if they have the right support and treatment.


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News category: New Zealand.

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