Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Vulnerable people must be protected from euthanasia coercion

20 August 2019


New amendments must be inserted into the End of Life Choice Bill to better protect vulnerable people from being coerced to end their lives, says the sponsor of those amendments, Chris Penk MP.

“The current protections written into the bill pay lip service to the concept of protection,” Mr Penk says. “When it comes to ending someone’s life, Parliament must make sure that it is that person’s own clear and free choice, and not anyone else’s. We owe it to vulnerable New Zealanders to make sure there is a robust process capable of clearly establishing that the decision is solely their decision, before their life is ended.”

Mr Penk’s amendment proposes new conditions that must be satisfied before confirming that someone’s life will be ended by euthanasia, including proper due diligence by a new, specialist body to be known as the Independent Panel of Practitioners.

“With its members to include experts in medicine, law, social work and elder abuse, the Panel would convene to consider requests for euthanasia and report on those,” Mr Penk says.

“Evidence available to the Panel would be gained by talking to the person’s previous medical doctors, relevant family members, and the person themselves. It could also involve referring the person for a psychiatric assessment to ensure they are making the decision without coercion. And it should certainly also involve considering relevant personal circumstances, their living situation, their will and their financial affairs.

“I’ve proposed specific tests that must be considered; to ensure the request to end the person’s life has not come about through family neglect, institutional neglect, societal neglect, a mental health condition, failures of the health system, or because someone else stands to gain financially from the person dying.

“I’m sure reasonable parliamentary colleagues will agree that these are not grounds for someone to be encouraged to end their lives.”

Mr Penk says he make no apologies for proposing more prescriptive and thorough tests in the bill to reduce the risk of coercion or abuse.

“There will be MPs that consider these protections go too far. However, in its current form the Bill’s claimed safeguard for detecting coercion is utterly inadequate. It is untenable that one doctor could or should have to shoulder the enormous burden of having to work out if their patient is being pressured into requesting assisted dying. I believe colleagues who are truly concerned about the risks to vulnerable people of a poorly regulated euthanasia regime will support some or all of these changes.”

“While there is no foolproof way of protecting vulnerable people from the risk of abuse or coercion in a bill like this, we must make no apology as a parliament for doing our utmost to reduce that risk.

“Vulnerable people must not be persuaded to end their lives because of a poorly written law and we MPs have a responsibility not to put vulnerable people in such a situation.

“As a lawyer prior to entering Parliament, I was always conscious of the need to protect against coercion, duress and undue influence being applied to vulnerable people, sadly often by family members closest to them.”


http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1908/End_of_Life_Choice_SOP__Penk_coercion.pdf


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Saudi Oil Refinery Crisis

So the US and the Saudis claim to have credible evidence that those Weapons of Oil Destruction came from Iran, their current bogey now that Saddam Hussein is no longer available.

Evidently, the world has learned nothing from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when dodgy US intel was wheeled out to justify the invasion of Iraq, thereby giving birth to ISIS and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. More>>

 

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>

ALSO:

'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>

ALSO:

Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels