The right to die or a licence to kill?
Writing in Stuff, specialist geriatrician Dr John Thwaites explains this Act will make it legal for someone else to take your life – and at a moment in time when the patient is at their most fragile.
Informed by his wealth of experience as a doctor, John explains the eligibility criteria for euthanasia and assisted dying is fundamentally flawed.
"You see this Act talks about the state of being terminal. But doctors have never been able to predict death accurately. Who doesn’t know someone, given six months to live, proudly re-telling the story years later down at the local pub. "
The prevalence of elder abuse in New Zealand is also an alarming issue. John states that it is naive to think that coercion won't occur or will be easily detected by the doctor. Especially since the patient can prevent the doctor from speaking to their family and friends, it is difficult to detect coercion or pressure.