Letter submitted to the media by David Barber
14 December 2017
It is sad when Members of Parliament boasting the title Honourable resort to untruths and misinformation to promote dogmatic religious beliefs which seek to deny choice of belief and action to everyone else (Fierce euthanasia battle to begin, Dec 13).
Claims by Catholics Bill English and Maggie Barry that David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill threatens the vulnerable elderly and disabled are simply not true. Similar legislation has been in place for 20 years in the American state of Oregon and no cases of failure to comply with its strict safeguards have been reported to the authorities.
With similar laws in 11 jurisdictions in Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States – where over 110 million people can now access medical assistance to die if they are terminally ill and suffering intolerably - Barry’s claim that New Zealand would be the most liberal country in the world to die is equally untrue.
A friend who is dying of cancer challenged Barry’s absurd comment that “it’s a licence to kill”, saying she clearly prefers the existing law as “a licence to torture”.