August 01, 2018
Contact: CMF New Zealand

Euthanasia

Christian Medical Fellowship NZ as an organisation is strongly apposed to euthanasia or any form of physician assisted suicide.  As doctors we have many ethical and practical concerns about the possibility of legalising euthanasia or PAS.  For many of us our view of the inherent value of human life that the Bible teaches also forms our view.

Lessons from Canada written by Dr Rosalie Evans, looks at what we can learn from the Canadian experience with this issue.

Special Update on EOLC Bill April 2019

Justice Select Committee

There was a record number of submissions on the End of Life Choice (Euthanasia) Bill from organisations and individuals. The Care Alliance analysed all the submissions, their report is here. This Bill is due for is second reading and vote by Parliament in the next few months. It is vital that we tell our MPs how we feel about this Bill now.

Click here to sign a petition to tell the MPs to vote against this bill.

Speaking to MPs

Also consider talking to your local Member of Parliament about this issue. They will be the ones ultimately voting on this. The second reading has been delayed somewhat as the Justice Select Committee was given more time (until April 2019) to prepare their report due to the large number of submissions received. We as doctors, have expertise we can share with them. If this becomes law they will be asking doctors to be deciding eligibility and administrating lethal medications. It is recommended by Euthanasia-Free NZ that people speak from their professional perspective and/or include true stories from their personal or professional life. If you have already done this – let us know what it went. If you are considering it but would like some support / advice, please get in touch.

We encourage our members to learn more about these issues for themselves and form their own stance on this frequently debated topic.  Even if you already have a strong view it is helpful to have well reasoned arguments that you can share with others in a respectful manner.  To help with this we have gathered some resources. These are listed below.

A recent interview with Dr Herx a visiting doctor telling about the results of euthanasia legislation in Canada. A transcript of Mike Hosking's interview with Dr Herx on NewsTalkZB on Monday is available here

New website with video interviews and updated information: https://www.defendnz.co.nz/

Also check out some Frequently Asked Questions about Euthanasia - answer by Euthanasia Free NZ

Why have recent attempts to legalised euthanasia in the UK failed (1 min video):

Here is one kiwi doctor's view (expressed in a 5 min video): What will yours be?

Euthanasia-Free NZ ran a webinar series on the wider issues related to living and dying well in August 2017, with Amanda Landers speaking on 'What happens to the dying body?'  Watch replays here.

 

Christian Medical Fellowship's Perspective:

CMF NZ's Position Statement

CMF NZ's Submission to the Health Select Committee

CMF NZ's Oral Submission to the Health Select Committee 

 

One simple thing you can do is read the statement at http://doctorssayno.nz and email sinead@carealliance.org.nz to add your name if you agree with the open letter.

For more to explore this issue further, see the links on these following pages:

 

Speaking to Others

There is a lot of misunderstanding around what euthanasia is and what this bill is proposing. I (Rosalie) recently talked to a group of people at my church, I was a bit surprised to hear that before my talk one a the senior leaders supported the bill. I changed her mind mainly by explaining that stopping burdensome treatments or not treated an infection in someone who was dying was good medical care not euthanasia. When she understand that euthanasia was giving a medication to purposing cause a death and all the problems with abuse, misdiagnosis etc she did not think that should become law. I was also able to put in a plug for advanced care planning and talking to your family about what interventions you would or would not want.

As doctors we have a lot more knowledge around this subject than most of the general public. We have been at many bedsides and understand that death is usually peaceful not painful. Consider sharing your knowledge with others either in one-on-one conversations that challenge assumptions or to a larger group. If you would like some assistance in preparing a talk or finding resources, please contact Rosalie Evans.

Church Update on EOLC Bill April 2019

Consider making a donation to Care Alliance

Care Alliance is a coalition of organisation / individuals (of which CMFnz is a member) that aims to nurture better conversations about dying and opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide.

They are planning some more public awareness campaigns in the coming months but needs additional resources to fund this.

Because some of the activities of Care Alliance are considered political, donations to them cannot be claimed back on taxes


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