Doctors say Yes to End of Life Choice

Wed, 22 May, 2019

Just 7% of doctors have written an open letter to MPs opposing the End of Life Choice Bill implying they speak for all doctors, however, 37% of doctors say they support assisted dying becoming a law in New Zealand.

In March, 2018, NZ Doctor commissioned a Horizon Research scientific survey to evaluate support from doctors of aspects of the End of Life Choice Bill. The results show 37% support, 11% are unsure, and 52% oppose a law change.

The results show over 5,000 doctors in New Zealand support the provisions of the End of Life Choice Bill and over 2,000 doctors would be willing to administer in an assisted death.

“The End of Life Choice Bill has strong safeguards protecting any doctor from being coerced or forced into performing an assisted death as any doctor is able to object on grounds of conscience,” says David Seymour. 

“The group called Doctors say No state that the medical profession are ‘being made an unwilling accomplice’ yet the results from this scientific survey suggest the opposite - a substantial number of doctors are willing to act.

“In the letter, Spokesperson Dr Ioane-Cleverley also asked me to provide definitive proof that there is no connection between assisted dying and suicide and I’m more than happy to do so. 

“Page 44 of the Health Select Committee report on the petition of Hon Maryan Street, which investigated public attitudes to assisted dying, states:

“Some submitters suggested that suicide rates are higher in jurisdictions where assisted dying is legal. We sought advice about this claim. The Ministry of Health told us that there does not appear [to] be any connection between assisted dying or euthanasia and rates of suicide.”