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Vast Majority of Submitters Opposed to Euthanasia

Vast Majority of Submitters Opposed to Euthanasia

Today’s report examining euthanasia and assisted suicide is the most comprehensive look at the issue in New Zealand’s history, and, according to Maxim Institute CEO Alex Penk, “it gives an excellent summary of the reasons given by the thousands of experts, academics, medical professionals, suicide-prevention specialists, and laypeople who submitted in opposition to legalising these practices.”

“The serious and complex nature of proposed euthanasia laws shows why it’s so important to weigh all the evidence carefully, and why it’s not as simple as a poll-driven popularity contest,” Mr Penk says. “When law-makers have to think about changing the rules for dying, they need to pay close attention to overseas experience, which has uniformly shown how unintended consequences appear over time.”

The Health Select Committee of 9 MPs spent two years hearing evidence and compiling their findings. They considered over 21,000 unique written submissions (a record number for any Select Committee), and heard 108 hours of oral testimony from 944 submitters across New Zealand. 80 percent of submitters were opposed to the introduction of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

“The Select Committee was right not to recommend the Government introduce measures to legalise assisted suicide,” Mr Penk says, “With David Seymour’s private member’s bill up for consideration, we encourage every MP and potential MP to read this report and consider why the vast majority of submitters were against introducing assisted suicide in New Zealand. It would be very difficult to get a more comprehensive local assessment of the issue, or a Select Committee process that could assemble a greater collection of expertise to inform their thinking.”


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