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'Safeguards in the Act are inadequate': Hospice NZ


When Hospice NZ reviewed the End of Life Choice Act, it became 'deeply concerned' about the lack of clarity and detail on the application of assisted dying.



Following legal advice, Hospice NZ took an unprecedented action of seeking clarity from the High Court on how the act could work, should it pass into law.


The safeguards are inadequate or absent. Determining how long a person has to live with a terminal illness is very problematic and often inaccurate. People with mental health issues, living with disability and a terminal illness will qualify for euthanasia. Mary Schumacher, CEO Hospice NZ

Specifically it 'sought a declaratory judgment seeking clarity on whether an organisation, such as a hospice, can conscientiously object to assisted dying. We asked whether the act’s mandatory obligations on a health practitioner override their ethical, clinical or professional judgments and obligations under the Code of Health and Disability Consumers’ Rights.'


The judgement by Justice Jill Mallon was indeed helpful and protects Hospice right to hold conscientious objection to euthanasia.


But the judgement doesn't ally the fears of the Hospice concerning vulnerable New Zealanders. Writing in Stuff, CEO Mary Schumacher says:


"Whilst this clarity is very helpful in terms of understanding how the act could work in practice, we still believe this act is fundamentally flawed. The safeguards are inadequate or absent. Determining how long a person has to live with a terminal illness is very problematic and often inaccurate. People with mental health issues, living with disability and a terminal illness will qualify for euthanasia.


"Most importantly, people living with a terminal illness should be supported to live in whatever way is important to them, their family and whānau, and make the most of their remaining life and not be subjected to pressure to end their life prematurely."


Read Mary's full article here

Via Stuff

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Authorised by Vote No to the End of Life Act, 159 Campbell Street, Karori, Wellington 6012

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