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Seymour welcomes Select Committee report on Assisted Dying

David Seymour welcomes report of Health Select Committee on Assisted Dying

Today the report from the Health Select Committee on the Petition of Hon Maryan Street has been tabled in Parliament.

The petition asked that Parliament investigate the attitudes of New Zealanders towards ending one’s own life in New Zealand, and Maryan’s submission raised the arguments in favour of assisted dying as well as Lecretia Seales’ tragic story and her case in the High Court.

“The report confirms what we already knew,” Mr Seymour said.
“An overwhelming majority – between two-thirds and three-quarters – of New Zealanders support a law change when polled.”

Polls cited:
• Curia Market Research, 2015 – 66% support change, 20% oppose, 12% neutral or unsure.
• TV3 Reid Research, 2015 – 71% support change, 24% oppose, 5% undecided.
• One News Colmar Brunton, 2015 – 75% support change, 21% opposed, 5% unsure.

“The report echoes the reasons supporters want to see a change to this law: dignity, autonomy and choice for terminally and irremediably ill people at the end of their lives. Supporters of change want a legal choice for people who face pain and suffering as a result of illness from which they can never recover.”

“The report also scotches the myths around assisted dying. It shows that there is no evidence of the supposed abuses that occur in other jurisdictions.”

Claims disproved:
• Claimed existence of “Do Not Euthanize Me” Bracelets in the Netherlands – no evidence found by the Ministry of Health
• Claimed that euthanasia takes place without the consent of the patient in Belgium – no evidence found by the Ministry of Health
• Claimed that suicide rates have increased where assisted dying is legal – no connection found by the Ministry of Health

“As expected, the report shows that New Zealanders want to see firm controls and safeguards around assisted dying. However, it doesn’t consider these in depth, and it doesn’t recommend any options for reform.”

“Therefore, the logical next step is for Parliament to pass my Bill at first reading, so that the committee can consider a concrete legislative proposal to give dying New Zealanders a choice.”

“This weekend I will launch my new book, ‘Own Your Future’. In it I discuss the reasons why I chose to write the End of Life Choice Bill, and to turn down a job as Minister to keep it in the Ballot.”

“A stronger ACT means more MPs who will vote to support assisted dying law reform.”

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