The End of Life Choice Act trusts doctors too much
As a doctor with 18 years experience, Dr Caroline Ansley is deeply concerned at the risk the End of Life Choice Act (2019) will expose New Zealanders to, should this Act become law.
The Act will allow any doctor who holds a current medical licence to offer physician assisted suicide as a service. The Act does not outline any additional standard these doctors need to meet, no minimum years of experience, or particular training they need to undergo. This Act is based fundamentally on trust in doctors to be competent and moral to act as witness, judge, juror and executioner within the confines of the Act.
There is very little in the way of independent oversight, independent witnesses or meaningful accountability within the Act to hold the enacting doctor to account or to keep them in check.
"Doctors are just like the rest of the population - there are just as many harassed, stressed, struggling with serious distracting life problems and error-prone individuals in my profession as there are anywhere else in the population. We are not immune to unethical, immoral actions, or laziness and incompetence, and we most certainly are not immune to the systemic bias which pervades culture that teaches us all that some lives are more valuable than others."