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What is assisted dying's inequity problem? Frontline doctor explains

Emergency medicine resident officer Dr Carmen Chan shares her concerns about euthanasia as an equity problem and explains how it broadens the gap in health outcomes for those already having trouble getting fair access to care.

Carmen compares the real life situations of Reginald* and Taylah* to illustrate the inequality problem.


In Auckland, Reginald is diagnosed with cancer and quickly linked with the relevant specialists and care providers. A palliative care team or his GP visit him regularly at hospice or at home to make sure that his needs are met, and his family are assured that his needs and comfort are met until he dies.


Meanwhile Taylah is based rurally. She has a harder time being connected with the right resources and support once diagnosed. Taylah doesn't want to cause her family stress when they are struggling to feed the family, and the hospice is full and too far away. This leads to underlying pressure to choose assisted dying if it were available to her.


* names changed for the article


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