More than 1000 doctors sign letter against ‘assisted suicide’ Bill

The Care Alliance, a charity which opposes physician-assisted euthanasia, has taken out a full-page advertisement in the New Zealand Herald.

The letter has been signed by 1061 doctors, of the 17,000 registered doctors in New Zealand.

Medical Association chair Dr Kate Baddock agreeds with the letter and the majority of their more than 5000 members oppose euthanasia.

MP David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill is expected to have its second reading in parliament on Wednesday.

He says the Bill will likely pass on Wednesday and the contents of the letter are not new.

However, MPs opposing the bill are planning to put up more than 100 amendments that could push its possible passage well into next year.

The letter’s signatories endorse the views of the World Medical Association and New Zealand Medical Association, that euthanasia is unethical, even if made legal.

The doctors said they were “committed to the concept of death with dignity and comfort”, including effective pain relief and excellence in palliative care. And they uphold the right of patients to decline treatment.

Palliative care specialist, Dr Sinead Donnelly, who organised the letter, said the bill changes the relationship between a doctor and their patient.

Donnelly said she had a message for MPs.

“As doctors, we don’t want to be part of it, you’re going to, in our view, destroy the profession of medicine by drawing us in to ending the life of our patients.”

Baddock said their stance was in line with the international response.

“In the World Medical Association, some 119 countries belong and over 90 per cent of them are completely against euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide,” she said.

If New Zealand was to adopt assisted dying, Baddock said the Medical Association will be advocating for a policy like Switzerland, where doctors are not involved in the process at all.

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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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