Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Euthanasia-Free NZ welcomes New York High Court decision

New York High Court decides ‘Aid-in-Dying’ is Assisted Suicide

Euthanasia-Free NZ welcomes the New York High Court’s decision to uphold the law against ‘assisted dying’.

The Voluntary Euthanasia Society and their overseas counterparts argue that there is a fundamental difference between suicide and ‘aid-in-dying’ and that the latter should therefore be legal.

Yesterday the New York High Court decided that ‘aid-in-dying’, also called ‘medically assisted dying’, is indeed assisted suicide and that there is no right to assisted suicide in New York.

This decision is far from unique. The New Mexico Supreme Court made a similar decision in June 2016. In recent years courts have also upheld laws prohibiting ‘assisted dying’ in New York, Tennessee, California, San Francisco, the UK, South Africa, the European Court of Human Rights and in New Zealand (the Lecretia Seales case in June 2015).

The New York High Court stated in Meyers v. Schneiderman:

“Suicide” is not defined in the Penal Law, and therefore “we must give the term its ordinary and commonly understood meaning” … Suicide has long been understood as “the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally.”…Black’s Law Dictionary defines “suicide” as “[t]he act of taking one’s own life,” and “assisted suicide” as “[t]he intentional act of providing a person with the medical means or the medical knowledge to commit suicide” (10th ed 2014). Aid-in-dying falls squarely within the ordinary meaning of the statutory prohibition on assisting a suicide.

The Court upheld the well-established distinction between refusing life-sustaining treatment and assisted suicide

The Voluntary Euthanasia Society and its overseas counterparts argue that there is no ethical difference between the refusal of life-sustaining medical intervention and receiving lethal drugs from a doctor to end one’s life.

The New York High Court disagree:

In the case of the terminally ill, refusing treatment involves declining life-sustaining techniques that intervene to delay death. Aid-in-dying, by contrast, involves a physician actively prescribing lethal drugs for the purpose of directly causing the patient’s death.

Unintended consequences of ‘assisted dying’ legislation

The Court concluded that “our legislature has a rational basis for criminalizing assisted suicide” and stated:

As summarized by the Supreme Court, the State’s interests in prohibiting assisted suicide include: “prohibiting intentional killing and preserving life; preventing suicide; maintaining physicians’ role as their patients’ healers; protecting vulnerable people from indifference, prejudice, and psychological and financial pressure to end their lives; and avoiding a possible slide towards euthanasia.”

The New York High Court’s judgement confirms that the legalisation of assisted suicide, by any name, involves unintended consequences that put vulnerable people at risk.

Euthanasia-Free NZ urge the public and politicians of New Zealand to reject ‘assisted dying’ legislation, and in particular David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hope For Nature: A New Deal For The Commons

Joseph Cederwall on The Dig: The disruption and destruction of the interconnected biodiversity of Earth is the most serious challenge humanity has ever faced. This is an ecosystem emergency on an extinction scale. It is also a serious threat to the inherent rights of the diversity of non-human life, ecosystems and human Cultures on Earth to exist and thrive. The current global paradigm is devastating life everywhere by disrupting vital “ecosystem services” like the food, water, and climate regulation systems that both humanity and biodiversity depend on in an interconnected balance. It is increasingly clear that the primary driver of this crisis is the limiting and infectious worldview around land and resource use so central to the global capitalist system. To fully understand the biodiversity crisis and explore what comes next, it is necessary to address this mind-virus at the heart of our modern civilisation – the dominion worldview. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Farming Sector’s Persecution Complex

The narrative that our farmers are ‘doing it tough’ plays into a number of wellworn stereotypes ... More>>


corrections, prisonCorrections: Independent Review Of Prisoner Mail Management

The independent review into the prisoner mail system has today been released, with Corrections accepting all 13 recommendations and making a number of changes to strengthen the management of prisoner mail. More>>


IPCA: Unlawful Detention Of Teenager; Influence Of Investigation

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis unlawfully detained an Auckland teenager in 2015, and improperly influenced the outcome of a criminal investigation into his own son in 2014. More>>


SOP For Gun Bill: New Measures For Modified Pistols

The new controls will • Prohibit short-barrelled semi-automatic rifles which currently are defined as pistols because they are shorter than 762 millimetres. • Introduce tighter controls over pistol carbine conversion kits… • Prohibit firearms which contain a part known as a centrefire lower receiver… More>>

'Culturally Arranged Visitors Visa': Fix For Marriage Visa Issue

Earlier this year Immigration New Zealand issued guidance to front line Immigration staff that made it significantly harder for people to get visas to visit their partner. That guidance no longer applies with today’s announcement. More>>


Conflict Of Interest For Key Member: Budget Data Breach Investigation Shut Down

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today terminated the investigation into how Budget-sensitive material was accessed at the Treasury and appointed a new inquirer. More>>

RNZ Report: Mysterious Foundation Loaning NZ First Money

A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy. More>>

Justice: Criminal Cases Review Commission Established

“We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, even with rights of appeals, and there needs to be a chance for the innocent on the right grounds to seek a final review of their case...” More>>





InfoPages News Channels