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Media Release – World Right to Die Day

02 Nov 2016 11:37 AM | Philip Patston (Administrator)
Woman comforting man in bed with oxygen tube

The growing campaign for the right to die with dignity will be marked on Wednesday, November 2 around the world and in New Zealand, where a Parliamentary committee is holding an inquiry into the issue.

“EOLC/VES calls on the Police to pause Operation Painter on this international day of activism and stop harassing elderly people by turning up at their homes to question them, which is still going on ,” said Maryan Street, President of the End Of Life Choice / Voluntary Euthanasia Society.

“All around the world we are seeing countries, together with an increasing number of states in America, acknowledging the force of public opinion in favour of assisted dying,”

She said there was mounting reassuring evidence from countries where the power of compassion has provided for law changes to make assisted dying legal.

“The changes allow people who are terminally ill, or suffering irremediable conditions which have rendered their lives unbearable by their own assessment, to get medical assistance to die at a time and in a manner of their own choosing.”

Assisted dying is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Colombia, Canada and six American states. A Parliamentary committee has recommended a law change in the Australian state of Victoria and a similar Bill is currently being debated by South Australian legislators.

At home, the Health Select Committee received a record 21,533 submissions on the issue, indicating intense public interest in a potential law change. It is hearing more submissions at 10.00am today at Parliament.

“Local branches of EOLC/VES will hold activities in their own areas with stalls or information points set up to help people to understand the issues and urge their Members of Parliament to support enlightened legislation,” Maryan Street said.

“The right to die with dignity will be pressed home to politicians and the public around the world on Wednesday, 2 November,” said Maryan Street, President of the New Zealand group agitating for law reform in this area.


  • 02 Nov 2016 2:10 PM | Anonymous
    The earlier a bill comes before Parliament for debate, the better. It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a tragic gap in the continuum of end-of-life choice. This gap is currently being filled unwillingly by legal practices such as self-starvation, refusal or cessation of treatment, by terminal sedation or by suicide - often by brutal means. In March 2012 the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity of the Quebec National Assembly (Canada) concluded that there is : “a very fine line between continuous palliative sedation, refusal or cessation of treatment and medical aid in dying. In all three cases, the end result is death and in all three cases the end-of-life patient is able to make a free and informed decision to end what he considers intolerable, needless suffering.” It is time our NZ Parliament discovered these truths for itself and legislated to enable eligible patients to receive medical aid in dying with appropriate safeguards.
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  • 02 Nov 2016 8:05 PM | Anonymous
    Bring it on NZ be brave!!!!
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