"Woefully inadequate" - Disabilities Commissioner on End of Life Bill
Updated: Jul 17, 2020
The Disability Commissioner, Paula Tesorieo, described the Bill (that is now an Act) as "woefully inadequate" in this full and frank discussion on TVOne's Breakfast.
"I would far rather see that if New Zealanders want this kind of scheme, then start again, co-create this piece of legislation with the right people around the table, rather than this process which is clumsy, awkward, deeply complex and I think continues to pose a number of risks for New Zealanders - particularly disabled Kiwis."
Ms Tesoriero said she wasn't satisfied with the amendments to the bill, adding there was "no bright line test between disability and terminal illness".
"The safeguards in the bill, although there have been some attempts to improve them, still don't go far enough in my view, particularly around the assessment of who is competent and secondly around coercion."
Ms Tesoriero said there was "a whole range of improvements" that could be made, but she would like to see doctors talk to people who aren't in the family and aren't in the dying person's will to better safeguard the process.
"The bottom line is we have one doctor who doesn't need to know the person and family members can play a critical role in talking with the doctor. Also what's really important is that the bill doesn't provide any mechanism to detect more subtle forms of coercion like advertising."
You can see the whole clip here