Having robust answers to opponents of EOLC is important to keep the public debate alive and balanced. In this section, Dr Jack Havill, Chair of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society NZ, outlines the stance of the Society in relation to different issues and population groups.
Opponents of Physician Assisted Dying (PAD) are extremely vocal in saying that the elderly would be very vulnerable if legalisation occurred. They point to the elder abuse that is not that uncommon in our NZ population. The Voluntary Euthanasia Society NZ say that there is no evidence for elder abuse associated with PAD, and it is virtually impossible.
Would the legalisation of Physician Assisted Dying (PAD) encourage suicide in the NZ population?
Opponents of Physician Assisted Dying (PAD) are vocal in saying that the introduction of PAD into NZ would increase suicide. The Voluntary Euthanasia Society NZ says that there is no evidence that this would happen or has happened. In fact there is some evidence that the absence of PAD leads some individuals with relentless disease to take their lives prematurely while they are still physically able to do that.
Many disabled individuals and disabled people-led organisations oppose the legalisation of assisted dying, as they fear the consequences that it may have for people with disabilities. They argue that it will make people with disabilities feel obliged to end their own lives so as not to be a burden on family, friends, and society. Some go as far as to liken physician assisted dying to eugenics movements of the past.
Questions we're often asked about EOLC.
“Euthanasia-Free NZ” has produced a pamphlet called ‘8 Dangers of Legal Euthanasia’ which is handed out at various meetings they run. We responded to each assertion.