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Don't jump on euthanasia bandwagon

3 November 2011

Don't jump on euthanasia bandwagon

New Zealand Christian Network is urging people not to jump on the bandwagon of calls to liberalise euthanasia.

Supporters of former Dunedin man Sean Davison – who has pleaded guilty to assisting his mother's suicide – are calling for liberalisation of the law.

But New Zealand Christian Network says the public debate has too often focused on emotional personal stories and personal choice without considering the wider picture and the negative consequences for society.

National Director Glyn Carpenter says New Zealand’s Catholic bishops were right to point out recently that to legalise euthanasia would introduce a new and dangerous dimension to society.

“It is impossible to build legal safeguards that would adequately protect vulnerable people,” said Mr Carpenter.

“Disabled people, for instance, have spoken of how they feel greatly threatened by the possibility of euthanasia or assisted suicide being made legal.” As the bishops point out, another risk is that the “right to die” could quickly become a “duty to die”.

Mr Carpenter said euthanasia weakens society's respect for the sanctity of life. “It is deeply concerning that we don’t judge human life today by its internal worth. Instead, euthanasia promotes the idea that some lives are worth less than others.

“Voluntary euthanasia is the start of a slippery slope that leads to involuntary euthanasia and the killing of people who are thought undesirable.

“We need a society that cares, not kills,” Mr Carpenter said.

New Zealand Christian Network is a broad-spectrum network of churches and Christian leaders, with a Board of Reference that includes leaders from all the main denominations. It seeks to present a biblically orthodox position on issues, reflecting the views of the majority of Christians in New Zealand.


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