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Euthanasia vote tighter than public may think

Euthanasia vote tighter than public may think

Half of MPs allowed to exercise conscience votes rejected the End of Life Choice Bill at Second Reading.

Eighteen of the 120 votes were along party lines: namely NZ First, the Green and the sponsor of the bill, David Seymour. This meant that eighteen votes out of 120 were not in fact conscience votes.

Of the remaining 102 MPs who were allowed to vote free from party pressure, 50 voted against the bill and 52 voted in favour. This shows the real divide among MPs in an issue that has split parliament.

A recurring theme in Wednesday’s speeches, from MPs on both sides, was concern that vulnerable people could be at risk of pressure and coercion to request euthanasia. Several MPs referred to elder abuse specifically.

The serious concerns MPs have about this bill will not go away if eligibility were to be limited to the terminally ill. Since terminal illness involves disability, such a bill would still send a message to disabled people that their lives are valued less than the lives of able-bodied people.

There is a grey area between terminal illness and some with “grievous and irremediable medical conditions”. People with these conditions say there would be subtle pressure from society on them to intentionally choose to live and not choose euthanasia in their dark days and months.

It is concerning that a Kiwi with a serious medical condition, but expected to live a fairly long time, could simply refuse the treatment that is keeping them alive and thus become “terminal” and eligible for euthanasia.

#DefendNZ Creative Director Henoch Kloosterboer said the opposition voice will keep growing.

"It's not going to change. It's not going to stop. There are so many more conversations to be had between now and Third Reading," he said.

"This thing isn't going away. The risks aren't going away. The burden of proof is on the proponents to prove vulnerable New Zealanders will not be placed at risk. One wrongful death would be one too many."

#DefendNZ thanks the 50 out of 102 MPs who exercised their conscience vote against the Bill. We also commend the many MPs who voted for the bill, but expressed their concerns about the Bill and are open to reconsidering their vote at Third Reading.

MPs who voted against the bill are as follows. A ‘*’ denotes which MPs changed their vote since the first reading seeing the risks.

Kiritapu Allan* – Labour - List
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi – National – List
Maggie Barry – National – North Shore
Andrew Bayly – National – Hunua
David Bennett – National – Hamilton East
Dan Bidois – National - Northcote
Simon Bridges – National – Tauranga
Simeon Brown – National – Pakuranga
Gerry Brownlee – National – Ilam
David Carter – National – List
David Clark – Labour – Dunedin North
Jacquie Dean – National – Waitaki
Sarah Dowie – National – Invercargill
Paulo Garcia – National – List
Paul Goldsmith – National – List
Nathan Guy* – National - Otaki
Joanne Hayes – National – List
Harete Hipango* – National - Whanganui
Anahila Kanongata'aSuisuiki – Labour – List
Denise Lee – National – Maungakiekie
Melissa Lee – National – List
Agnes Loheni – National – List
Tim Macindoe – National – Hamilton West
Todd McClay – National – Rotorua
Ian McKelvie – National – Rangitikei
Todd Muller – National – Bay of Plenty
Alfred Ngaro – National – List
Damien O'Connor – Labour – West Coast
Simon O'Connor – National – Tamaki
Parmjeet Parmar – National – List
Chris Penk – National – Helensville
Maureen Pugh – National – List
Shane Reti – National – Whangarei
Adrian Rurawhe* – Labour – Te Tai Hauauru
Deborah Russell* – Labour – New Lynn
Jenny Salesa – Labour – Manukau East
Alastair Scott – National – Wairarapa
Aupito William Sio – Labour – Mangere
Nick Smith – National – Nelson
Jamie Strange – Labour – List
Rino Tirakatene – Labour – Te Tai Tonga
Anne Tolley* – National - East Coast
Phil Twyford – Labour – Te Atatu
Louise Upston – National – Taupo
Nicky Wagner – National – List
Hamish Walker* – National – Clutha-Southland
Meka Whaitiri* – Labour – Ikaroa Rawhiti
Michael Wood* – Labour – Mt Roskill
Michael Woodhouse – National – List
Jonathan Young – National – New Plymouth

ENDS

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