Dr Lance O’Sullivan, an outspoken advocate for medically assisted dying, is a finalist nominee for the New Zealand Herald’s People’s Choice as New Zealander of the Year.
Voting is open for one week only so get your vote in before midnight next Saturday, December 9.
The following in Saturday’s paper does not mention his advocacy for MAID, but he could be expected to speak out if he won the title – remember Lecretia Seales was named New Zealander of the Year by the Herald after she had died.
“Dr Lance O'Sullivan isn't wanting for accolades or recognition over his tireless efforts to help his Far North community.
But admiration and respect for the Kaitaia GP was renewed when he stormed the stage at a local screening of an anti-vaccination documentary.
The film — Vaxxed: from Cover-Up to Catastrophe — attempts to make the long-debunked link between vaccines and autism.
O'Sullivan leapt before the audience, telling them their mere presence would "cause babies to die". He warned of the harm caused to non-immunised children and others in the community, pleaded with other health professionals to leave the viewing, and performed a passionate haka.
The move drew personal threats and "vile" comments from the anti-vaccination community, he said — but also widespread praise.
Prominent microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles, said the film was "dangerous" and came at a time when there was an outbreak of mumps in New Zealand.
"There's a whole generation of children who are not protected against these horrendous diseases, so we really need people of high profile like Lance stepping up and protecting their community."
Already, O'Sullivan's impact on local public health has been immeasurable, including setting up a low-cost health clinic at Kaitaia Hospital and the MaiHealth programme, which offers a remote consultation to people without ready access to primary healthcare.
He has also been instrumental in establishing programmes aimed at improving child health, including the Manawa Ora Korokoro Ora (Moko) foundation and the Kainga Ora (Well Home) initiative.”
You can see how to vote for him at the end of the following article »