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Capital Punishment for prisoners under guise of euthanasia

A recent study in Belgium has revealed that 23 prisoners in Belgium requested euthanasia between 2011 and 2017. Capital punishment is unlawful in Belgium. It is not permitted to give a prisoner a lethal injection as a punishment for his crimes, however it is lawful to give a prisoner who does not have a terminal condition a lethal injection as “health care”.

The Belgium prisoners were long term prisoners convicted for serious violent crimes and were unlikely to ever be released. Many would be without hope and considered that their lives were not worth living.

Capital punishment was abolished in New Zealand in 1961. Right to Life believes that if Parliament passes David Seymour’s End of Life Choice bill we could follow the example of Belgium, which allows prisoners being given a lethal injection for experiencing psychological suffering.

The Minister of Justice is concerned at the increasing numbers of prisoners in New Zealand prisons, the current number being over 10,000. The Minister has pledged to reduce this number by 30 per cent. Might it be tempting for a future government to accept allowing long term prisoners to be given a lethal injection as a solution to their psychological suffering? Certainly it is cheaper to kill than to provide care.

Right to Life believes that once we accept that there are some lives not worthy of life there will be no end to the killing of the vulnerable. Assisted suicide for psychological suffering is permitted in Holland and is currently being considered in Canada. This raises the question as to what grounds will be next?

Right to Life requests our Parliament to uphold the total prohibition of the killing of an innocent human being as the bedrock of the law and of medicine by voting against the dangerous End of Life Choice bill at its second reading.


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