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Euthanasia Referendum Result Extremely Disappointing

“The voters of New Zealand have spoken, and we are naturally extremely 
disappointed with the outcome of the End of Life Choice Act Referendum,” 
Care Alliance spokesperson Doctor Sinead Donnelly says. “This is not 
what we worked for.”

“While we know and accept that the law will now come into force in 12 
months’ time, we also know that it is a law that will create significant 
problems and place many vulnerable New Zealanders at risk of a wrongful 
and premature death. That worries us greatly.

“One of the critical things going forward is to capture accurate 
information around the application of the Act and the reasons people are 
choosing it. It is important that the law operates in a fully 
transparent way and that people will be fully accountable, including the 
Ministry of Health. We will advocate strongly for this.

“The result does not change the fact that this law is poorly drafted and 
dangerous with weak or non-existent safeguards. As we have said on many 
occasions, it exposes vulnerable people to too many risks; it is weaker 
than similar overseas laws; it won’t lead to better health outcomes for 
the most disadvantaged New Zealanders, including Pasifika and Maori who 
die on average 7 years earlier than the rest of us.

“It is well known that access to quality palliative in New Zealand 
depends on your postcode. Meanwhile, it is also well established 
overseas that people choose an assisted death because they lack access 
to other care options and/or because they feel they are a burden to 
their family or to an over-stretched health system. To us that is 
unacceptable. Until palliative care is properly resourced, we know that 
the choice of an assisted death will not be a real choice for many 
people and therein lies a challenge for us all.

“We must work harder than we ever have to bring about more equitable 
access to good healthcare, including quality palliative care, to all in 
New Zealand and to mitigate the not inconsiderable risks that accompany 
this very dangerous and weak law. Good compassionate and dignified care 
demands nothing less. We will continue to advocate for the needs of the 
most vulnerable.”

© Scoop Media

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