Friday, January 5, 2018

Euthanasia Bill Renders Users Sitting Ducks to Their Heirs and Other Predators

Debating Chamber
New Zealand's bill seeking to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia has passed first reading.[1]

The bill's explanatory note claims that patients will be protected by a "comprehensive set of provisions to ensure free choice, made without coercion." In fact, patients who die under the bill will not even be protected against predators who willfully fail to follow the touted provisions.

The bill, paragraph 27(1)(a), provides an offence for a person who "willfully fails to comply with a requirement in this Act." The bill, however, also provides that a person who dies as a result of assisted suicide or euthanasia "is taken for all purposes" as if the person had not died via the Act. The bill, paragraph 25, states:
A person who dies as a result of the provision of assisted dying [assisted suicide and euthanasia] is taken for all purposes to have died as if assisted dying had not been provided.
If legally, assisted dying had not been provided under the Act, then how can the offence in paragraph 27, "willfully fail[ing] to comply with a requirement of the Act," be enforced? The two provisions read together create an oxymoron. The offence in paragraph 27 is thereby rendered unenforceable.

More to the point, with the lack of enforceability, patients will be rendered sitting ducks to their heirs and other predators seeking to benefit from their deaths.

Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA
Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation
1001 4th Avenue, Suite 4400
Seattle WA USA 98154
206 697 1217


[1]  "Euthanasia bill passes first reading in Parliament," NZ Herald, 13 Dec, 2017.