August 01, 2018
Contact: CMF New Zealand

Euthanasia

Christian Medical Fellowship 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.

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.

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 Justice Committe

There was a record number of sumbission on the End of Life Choice (Euthanasia) Bill from both organisation and individuals. Many people (infrographic from Justice Committee). The select committee’s administrative staff are struggling to contact all oral submitters prior to the session in their area and are inviting submitters to contact them with their preferred date. 

Everyone who wants to speak to Parliament’s Justice Committee on the for 5 minutes are urged to contact Justice.EndofLife@parliament.govt.nz or 04 817 9506 as soon as possible with their preferred date. 

The remaining sessions are: Auckland (Mon 6 Aug, Fri 10 Aug), Christchurch (Mon 3 Sept), Dunedin (Fri 21 Sept), Greymouth (Fri 31 Aug), Hamilton (Mon 13 Aug), Invercargill (Mon 6 Aug), Palmerston North (Thurs 23 Aug), Wellington (Mon 13 Aug), Whanganui (Tues 28 Aug), Whangarei (Mon 6 Aug).

Euthanasia-Free NZ online is offering tips for preparation as well as personalised support at https://notoassistedsuicide.nz/oral-submissions/ or 0800 42 76 42. Alternatively you could contact Rosalie who

The MPs pay much more attention to submissions in person, but people can also speak to them via a free phone call, on the same dates or late September.

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.  They also tells us that oral submissions are particularly important, because due to the huge number of written submissions, the Justice Committee MPs will likely have time to read only the submissions by people who are scheduled to speak to them. The other submissions will be read, but probably only by administrative staff. 

 

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 burdensom 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 knoweldge 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.

 

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 March 2019) to prepare their report due to the large number of submissions receieved. As above we have expertise we can share with them. If this becomes law they will be asking doctors to be deciding eligibility and aministrating lethal medications. 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.

 

Consider making a donation to Care Alliance

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

 

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

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


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