By Ann David
Religious organisations ready to go into bat
“Uncle Sam needs YOU” and “Nazi surrender draws nearer every time a woman joins the ATS” is nothing by comparison with the propaganda that religious organisations are likely to unleash in order to frighten citizens into voting against the End of Life Choice Bill at the referendum.
Of course, you won’t recognise them as religious organisations. They are way too smart for that. They hide in the disguise of secular structures called inter alia: Right to Life, Family First, Care Alliance, Euthanasia Free NZ.
These are funded by religious organisations (primarily the Catholic Church) and they preach the message of the bishops.
And so the clerical dogma is hidden as “social concern”.
Don’t buy into the slippery slope concept
We’ll hear about the “slippery slope” that is Belgium and Holland where the number choosing medically assisted dying has grown exponentially. It hasn’t. It is still less than 5 percent in both countries, notwithstanding the fact that their laws are much more permissive than our own.
Our own more restrictive eligibility criteria are likely to enable no more than 200 people annually to access medically assisted dying out of an annual death rate of 34,000 people. That’s around 0.6% of the dying. Not quite a tsunami!
More suicides? Highly unlikely
We’ll hear how medically assisted dying is bound to drive up the rate of suicide in New Zealand, now that we’ve “approved suicide”. It won’t. The same threat is made all around the globe wherever medically assisted dying is introduced, but it never eventuates. It is mere hypothesis. Parliament investigated the claim and all MPs were told that it is false, but that doesn’t stop some of them keeping the myth alive.
We’ll hear how medically assisted dying will endanger the lives of the disabled. It won’t. The Bill specifically rules out people from applying merely on the grounds of disability.
It is true that many terminal illnesses in their final stages bring people to the point of physical impairment, but the grounds for assisted dying is terminal illness, not physical disability.
Designed to stop cruelty
In summary the End of Life Choice Bill is only for the dying. Its objective is to stop the cruelty. It is safe and protects the vulnerable.
Parliament has approved it for use and now invites us to endorse or reject it at the next general election – probably around October 2020.
Don’t be fooled by propaganda!