Letter to Dr Robert Jonquiere, Dutch Euthanasia Advocate:
Open Letter to Dr Robert Jonquiere, Dutch Euthanasia Advocate, Supporting NZ Law Change to Allow Doctors to Kill their Patients
Dr Rob Jonquiere, the ‘principal architect’ in procuring Doctor Assisted Killing in the Netherlands, has commented on our website in relation to a recent media release made by Right to Life, which challenges his advocacy of euthanasia in New Zealand.
Here is Dr Jonquiere’s comment;
It is a
pity Right to Life and its spokesperson Ken Orr did not have
the decency to address their concern directly at me, telling
me that “I am not welcome in New Zealand”.
That Right to Life has an opposing view from mine when it concerns end-of-life decisions is their good right. I do not know why they do not accept that I have a same right to my view.
Why then – instead of an open discussion – limit your opposition to publications in friendly papers and media; publications by the way that are full of details of myself, my deeds and of the Dutch practice and law,that are not only completely unsubstantiated but even in many cases biased by your own ideas.
Instead of suggesting me not to come, you would show your Christian face meeting with me, openly and respectfully, trying to clarify our differences; trying to get the facts right and finding out where our ideas are alike – and I think we have more in common than you expect – or how we can together address the concerns I have as well as you. Only I believe my concerns can be seen to in a decent law, such as the current Bill in New Zealand and as proven in the Netherlands.
I will be coming to New Zealand anyway – welcome by you or not – and invite you to accept my invitation for a meeting.
WF Communications Director
Here is the Right to Life reply to Dr Jonquiere,
Right to Life does not challenge your right to hold views on euthanasia that are contrary to ours. Right to Life recognises your sincere desire to relieve the suffering of seriously ill patients. We do however challenge the way in which you address this issue, namely the killing of your patients and especially your advocacy to promote euthanasia as a solution to suffering. You have achieved this in your own country the Netherlands and now you seek to bring it here to New Zealand.
Your views are contrary to the ethics of the medical profession. You do not have the support of the World Medical Association, the New Zealand Medical Association, neither Palliative Care Specialists nor Hospice New Zealand. These are the experts in this field.
The law change that you seek to support, would undermine the trust that our community has in its dedicated and esteemed medical profession. That trust includes the trust that we will not be killed by a doctor.
You are in fact, promoting a culture of death in that you promote the killing of your patient as a solution to the problem of his/her pain.
Killing violates the virtue of justice by denying the inalienable right to life that our Creator has bestowed on each member of the human race. Our right to life may not be taken from us nor may we give it up. Our lives are not ours to do with as we will, for we are but stewards of the precious life entrusted to our care.
Euthanasia is always wrong because it violates the fifth commandment, “Thou Shalt not kill”
Right to Life makes no apology for speaking up in defence of those in our community threatened by what you seek to achieve. You are visiting New Zealand to promote a change to our laws which would allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide. In New Zealand under the Crimes Act, homicide and assisted suicide are serious crimes. These laws are there for a very good reason – to protect the vulnerable in society.
You do not seem to recognise that you are challenging the common good. Your advocacy is a serious threat to the lives of every person in New Zealand, but especially the aged, the disabled, the marginalised as well as those who are seriously ill.
Euthanasia once decriminalised, can never be restrained to just the initial ‘class’ of persons to which it was originally applied. We can see that from your own country, the Netherland. Once allowed for any, it becomes a right, it does in effect become a human right; and human rights are NEVER restricted to just one ‘class’ of persons. Those rights rapidly expand to include other ‘classes’ of persons, for example those who are suffer depression, or even those who are simply tired of life.
Should you not, Doctor Jonquiere as a member of the medical profession, be doing all you can to alleviate intolerable pain in your patients instead of pushing for their killing as a solution? When a society descends to killing, as a solution to a problem, then killing becomes the obvious solution to other problems. You say euthanasia can be controlled with safeguards. We know that events in countries where euthanasia or assisted suicide have been legalised, prove that such a contention is a falsehood.