Why is palliative care so vitriolically opposed to voluntary euthanasia/assisted dying? After all, if the End of Life Choice Bill becomes law, conscientious objection will be allowed so no palliative care doctor, nurse or employee would be required to participate in assisted dying.
You’d think that would satisfy – but no. Palliative care wants assisted dying removed from the statue books altogether, for all time, for all people. It is vociferously campaigning against the Bill. Why?
This week, Auckland’s Catholic Bishop Patrick Dunn openly acknowledged what we always suspected: palliative care’s ideology is heavily influenced by that of the Catholic church.
Only 12% of New Zealanders are Catholics, but 100% must die in the way approved by Catholicism.
Yes Hastings-based palliative doctor Libby Smales explains in her submission to the Justice select committee that a teaching session for Otago University's medical students showed no reluctance whatsoever to embrace assisted dying. Students envisaged assisted dying as a viable option among other end of life choices.
This is the new breed of medical professional. They will retire the sacred cow to the paddock and forge new paths based on patient autonomy and choice.
Ann David is a retired human resources professional living in Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast. She has been a campaigner for the right to die with dignity for the past 15 years, initially in Australia and since 2009, in New Zealand. She is a member of the End of Life Choice Society and of the NZARH.