We care about suffering, but legal assisted suicide is not the solution. It will put pressure on vulnerable people.

Euthanasia Debate NZ

Voluntary euthanasia legislation is dangerous to society

No safeguards can protect elderly, disabled and mentally ill people from subtle, or not so subtle, pressure to request death. Essentially assisted suicide is state-facilitated suicide and contradicts suicide prevention.

These are some of the many reasons why our organisation oppose the legalisation of “assisted dying” or “end of life choice”, which are euphemisms for voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. Legislation affects all of society, even those who don’t want “end-of-life choice” for themselves. The law changes behaviour as well as the culture.

The question is not, “Should certain individuals have access to voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide?”
The question is, “Should criminal law change for the whole country?”

Nowhere in the world has legal assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia been successfully contained and regulated. It’s impossible to put enforceable safeguards in place that would prevent coercion, pressure and abuse. The medically or emotionally vulnerable members of our society are particularly at risk. It’s impossible to ascertain whether consent is genuine and truly free.

The illness and death of a loved one, and the grief process involved, can be an emotionally harrowing experience. Society needs to do everything possible to relieve such suffering. However, assisted suicide – making it legal for people to deliberately help others kill themselves – is not the solution.

We care about people’s suffering, but legal assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia is not the solution. Such legislation would simply be too dangerous for society.