New Zealand: David Seymour’s Bill a Threat to the Lives of the Disabled

International   Ken Orr   Aug 22, 2017   |   7:05PM    Wellington, New Zealand

Our disabled brothers and sisters know that a very real threat associated with the David Seymour Euthanasia bill, is that in allowing doctors to kill the disabled or assist in their suicide, there is an inherent message that once a disabled person reaches a perceived certain level of disability, then they would be better off dead.

Parliamentarians and the public should be aware that the disability sector is opposed to the End of Life Choice bill of David Seymour. This has been made  abundantly clear, as exemplified just recently in TVNZ’s Sunday programme (20th August 2017). Dr Huhana Hickey who is a research fellow in Taupua Waiora Centre for Maori Health Research at AUT University and who herself has a disability spelt out why this bill represents a very real threat. The disabled are well aware that they will be among the first victims of killing presented to them as compassion.

It should be known that there were at least five submissions made to the Health Select Committee by groups representing our disability community. All of them were  strongly opposed to euthanasia. Internationally the disability sector is totally opposed to euthanasia.

Simon O’Connor, Chairman of the Health Select Committee said recently, “one person’s suicide affects many other people, some directly and many more indirectly. It makes a statement about one’s own sense of self-worth but it also makes an explicit statement about the worth of others living with the same or similar condition. For example, one person’s preference for death over life in a wheelchair will affect the lives and perceived worth of others who rely on wheelchairs.”

Legislating to allow doctors to kill the disabled or assist in their suicide would be in contravention of the government’s disability strategy, which seeks to value the lives of the disabled and which supports inclusive communities. Euthanasia would encourage the community to see the disabled as a burden on society.

Euthanasia would also be in breach of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. New Zealand is a signatory to this important Convention.

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Disability groups say that they would have to put doctors, who have such notoriously poor views of the quality of their lives, in charge of declaring us eligible for assisted suicide poses a mortal danger. Assisted suicide sets up a double standard, with suicide prevention for some and suicide assistance for others.  It’s disability discrimination.

Right to Life requests that Members of Parliament vote against the End of Life Choice bill of David Seymour, which is a mortal threat to the lives of the disabled members of our community.

LifeNews.com Note: Ken Orr is the spokesman for Right to Life of New Zealand.