Key on Euthanasia

July 9th, 2011 at 8:29 am by David Farrar

Jessica Tasman-Jones at Stuff reports:

Prime Minister has indicated he supports looking at the legislation surrounding .

”That’s because I think, while it’s a sensitive issue that you would have to make sure was properly covered, I think there have also been some tragic cases where we have seen people before the courts where they have [assisted in euthanasia] at the will of the person they have ended their lives for,” he told the Family First forum in Auckland today.

Secretary of Voluntary Euthanasia New Zealand Pat Hubbard said Key’s comments were ”extraordinarily good news” for the ”death with dignity” group.

You certainly do need strong safeguards, if you legalise euthanasia. But it is the right thing to do. People should be able to decide to end their lives, if they are rational and they have little or no quality of life. Hence those who assist, should not be made into criminals for doing so.

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120 Responses to “Key on Euthanasia”

  1. berend (1,709 comments) says:

    Does it say something about the National psyche that rather than increasing the retirement age we start discussion the time you can enjoy it?

    Make no mistake about it, this “freedom” will become: “Well dad, you’re so old now, and you can’t walk so well, and you got some money locked up in the house, isn’t it time to let go?”

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  2. Neebone (26 comments) says:

    One statistic that is on the increase is elderly abuse, how do you protect granny and her legacy from kids who may subtly make her life a misery to the point where she would rather take the pills?

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  3. Camryn (543 comments) says:

    Neebone – not to trivialize the issue of elder abuse, but if I raised my kids in such a way that they would do that then I would rather take the pills. What are we here for if not to raise a decent set of kids?

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  4. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Great idea!…can we start with Jim Anderton. :)

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  5. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    No, no, no, no, and no.

    Sorry DPF, I don’t agree on so many levels.
    It becomes a slippery slope to say that murder is wrong, unless the other person wants it (or you say they want it – they’re dead now, so who can prove it?).

    Let’s look at Jack Kevorkian, so called “Dr Death” who just died. He helped “the terminally ill” to commit suicide. At least 70 percent of his assisted suicides were not dying, and five weren’t ill at all according to their autopsies.

    Kevorkian was disturbingly prophetic. He called for the creation of euthanasia clinics where people could go who didn’t want to live anymore. They now exist in Switzerland and were recently overwhelmingly supported by the voters of Zurich in an initiative intended to stop what is called “suicide tourism.” Belgian doctors have now explicitly tied euthanasia and organ harvesting.

    Is that what we want in NZ? ‘Suicide tourism’? Organ harvesting? I bet the gangs could get into that.

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  6. Michael (909 comments) says:

    I have concerns about voluntary euthanasia being available – too many elderly will think if they are being too much bother they will ask for VE as they’ve been raised with values of not being too much trouble to others. Every few months you read about elderly people who have falls and don’t activate personal alarms because they don’t think it’s an emergency.

    Also, there are viable alternatives in pallative care. There are improved options over the years and medical staff can provide a comfortable, dignified end to a life using painkillers, nausea control drugs and other treatments.

    And then you get the cases like Nancy Crick, who gained help from euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke to kill herself despite not having a terminal illness, only a non-life threatening but chronic medical condition.

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  7. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    This is a slippery slope. Some old people will want to end their lives because they are a burden to their children. I had a similar position with my parents when their quality of life got very low. But the idea of euthanasia never cropped up and I flatly rejected the idea, though my father was ready to go, but my mother faught it to the end even though she was in much pain. I feel relatives cannot take the pressure of wT hinge their loved ones suffer and then try and accelerate the end to relieve their pain. I am flatly against euthanasia.

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  8. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Agreed David. The safeguards should be strong; eg. depression and old age alone shouldn’t be a valid cause to euthanise. But I’ve seen someone die slowly from cancer, and even from afar? All I can say is: Fuck. That. Shit.

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  9. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I agree with the cautionary comments above. There is presently a distinct line, well understood by the medical professions. Shifting or blurring that line brings considerable risks.

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  10. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Euthanasia is a difficult issue but the slippery slopists are missing or fudging what it’s really about. It’s not choosing to kill off old relatives. It’s about relieving the stress and discomfort for someone who is already dying.

    I’ve had a first hand look at this as I watched my mother die last year.

    I’ve posted on it in detail: Choices about euthanasia.

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  11. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Also, there are viable alternatives in pallative care.

    To an extent, yes, but there is extreme suffering and indignity that legal palliative care cannot address adequately. I’ve seen it.

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  12. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    As one who helped bring down M. Laws ridiculous Death with Dignity Bill, and again later when Euthanasia reared its head again only to be re-slapped down m(go Bill English), all this shows, is that JK spent a lot of years overseas. This is a dead duck (excuse pun) and has been well discussed and roundly rejected by our Parl. twice in recent years.

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  13. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    That we don’t have voluntary euthanasia is a double-standard. What is abortion but involuntary euthanasia. The state legislate and pay for it so how come they are all OK with killing at the start of life but not at then end? And this ties in with the idea that we should have capital punishment also. State sponsored killing when they are young is OK so let’s get the old and those in-between too.

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  14. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Is that what we want in NZ? ‘Suicide tourism’? Organ harvesting? I bet the gangs could get into that.

    What the hell would you want with a terminally ill 80 year-old’s organs?! I wouldn’t feed them to my dog.

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  15. Roflcopter (463 comments) says:

    The other problem is, depending on the symptoms, is that the decision to end one’s life is based on no end in sight.

    With the advances in medicine happening all the time, what happens if 6 months/1 year down the track some breakthrough is made and they could have been an ideal candidate for trials, and worse still if that trial had proven to be 100% effective?

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  16. David in Chch (519 comments) says:

    Hey gang! Key didn’t say yes let’s do this, and he did not rule out law changes. He said maybe it is time to have another look at it.

    It is one of those damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t issues.

    And frankly, I see my mother slowly dying from Alzheimer’s. My father is not allowed to mourn her because her shell isn’t dead yet, but she isn’t the woman he married, she isn’t the mother my sister and I had. My father mourns her a little bit each day, and I fear it is killing him. The person inside has died. The physical shell keeps going. She would not have wanted this, and in her lucid moments years ago she mused about ending it then before it got to this.

    And as for organ harvesting – I think tristanb has made a good point.

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  17. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    It’s hard to see where any political advantage could be in this suggestion from Key, so maybe he actually believes in something!

    Is this a little similar to ACT’s new ad on the other thread? Not exactly core issues.

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  18. trout (939 comments) says:

    Most of the above is the same old Kiwi obsession; the need to save people from themselves. If someone chooses to end their life IT IS THEIR CHOICE, what right have other people to question their motives. So I may choose to end my life because I cannot play golf any more, so what, IT IS MY CHOICE. Don’t try and persuade me that croquet is a good alternative.

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  19. Christopher Thomson (376 comments) says:

    Trout, agreed, 4 million people is just one big village of interferring busy-bodies.

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  20. David in Chch (519 comments) says:

    Oh c’mon trout, croquet is a wonderful game, especially when played in cut throat style.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist the bit of tongue-in-cheek.

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  21. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Many perhaps most people on this issue seem to miss the point in the same way that many perhaps most people miss the point about ACT’s race policies.

    VE is not about killing people in the same way that ACT’s race policies are not about discrimination. People who say VE is about killing people make the same mistake as those who thought homosexual law reform in the 80’s was somehow going to bring about mass-bumming by people who couldn’t wait to do it but didn’t before cause it was illegal. I recall that was “Normal” Norm Jones’ position at the time and he had a following. But it’s mental.

    As others have said above including some who have first-hand experience of a loved one dying in pain and discomfort, VE is about preserving dignity and preventing suffering at the end of one’s natural term of life. Nothing else. It’s not about someone else forcing death upon someone unwilling or unable to make a decision. Thinking it is about that, is just mental.

    Alzeimer’s cases can be dealt with via a simple provision in someone’s will, which to be valid by definition has to be done while of sound mind. Other people might prefer to make the decision at the time and should be allowed the option.

    I too have watched a loved one (my mother) die slowly and painfully and without dignity. It’s an appalling way to end one’s life, when one knows there are other medical alternatives available. There was no disease involved and no delirium, just a long slow decline over months as the body gradually gave way and mum was at the end, bedridden, unable to attend to herself, palliative care was doing nothing to relieve her suffering and she had been ready to go for months, by the time it finally happened.

    When someone is on that one-way road and everyone knows it and there is no prospect of recovery and that person is capable of making their own decision or maybe made it years ago in their will, why not let THEM decide what THEY want to do with THEIR life? Who are any of us, to hold power of life over death over others?

    There seems to be a strand in this debate to which some cling, whereby people who make that decision are by definition not fit to decide. This to me is a fatuous justification for abrogation of another’s basic human right for what is the life or death of oneself, if not that and who is anyone, to stand in the way of that?

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  22. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Cue the religious nutcakes to come on pretending they have some reason to oppose this freedom of choice other than religious nutcake-ism.

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  23. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    trout, it is because life has inherent value – that’s why any kind of murder is (or should be) wrong – even self-murder.
    I do know that it is a hard concept to get across. I know it is a very Catholic idea, but there is value in suffering; Christ redeemed the world by His suffering.

    This might (or might not) explain it –

    Christ’s suffering also is the path to our salvation. Christ suffers and dies. And in this he pays the price for our being able to have our sins forgiven and we can attain heaven and eternal life with God.

    In a marvelous way, we believe that we can unite our suffering with the suffering of Christ. In a way that transcends time, our sufferings today, both the suffering we choose and not choose, are united with the suffering of Jesus. Our suffering becomes part of the suffering of Christ for the salvation of all people and of the world.

    This means that when you are suffering and wondering what value your pain has, our faith tells us that we can unite our suffering with the salvific suffering of Christ. Our suffering becomes part of Christ’s suffering for the salvation of all people in the world.

    St. Paul gives us an insight into this when we wrote in his letter to the Colossians, “I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.” Colossians 1.24 That means that Christ is relying on us to be part of his suffering and cross. He values our suffering. That means that if we are in bed and all alone with our pain, we are doing something powerful with God. Our suffering is bringing salvation to people. We are bringing to competition the sufferings of Jesus. Our suffering has a mighty value

    Catholics are not afraid of the Cross. We love the Cross. Catholics feel that if we prayerfully offer up their sufferings to God, they can benefit those in the world who are suffering but who do not know Christ. This is called “redemptive suffering.” We don’t go chasing after suffering but if it is persistently there even though we pray, then we don’t waste the opportunity to use it for good. This is what Catholics mean when they say “I am offering it up.”

    ” it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings, that we are also suffering.” (2 Col 1:6)

    I also want to draw your attention to a post by kiwi in america from another thread on Euthanasia. I hope it’s OK to repost, kia, but I thought it was both beautiful and important.

    kiwi in america writes

    At the age of 57 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After aggressive chemo she went into remission for 21/2 yrs only to succumb a few months after her 60th as the cancer had been spread all over her body by a slight invasion into the lymph glands. Over the six months from the reoccurance to her death she had to suffer the indignity of various parts of her body rotting away necessitating twice daily visits from palliative care nurses to clean her wounds and she was only 35 kg when she finally died (from a robust 90kg before her cancer). Pain management back in the early 90′s was not as sophisticated as it is today and she was essentially managing considerable pain through increasingly brutal doses of morphine sulphate that on some days could barely mask the pain.

    After several agonising weeks about 2 months or so before she died we asked Mum whether she preferred if we just ‘accidentally’ ODed her on the MSTs as we had heard from the nurses of other sufferers they cared for who had got their children to do this. My mother in the midst of her misery gave a most remarkable and unforgettable answer. She was surpised even a little shocked that we would suggest this. She said “why would I do that when I have learned more in the last 6 months than all the rest of my life put together”. As her time to die drew closer, I came to glimpse some of why she said that. We had a series of beautiful and remarkable experiences with her. She has suffered a difficult childhood that she had largely risen above and had endured the indignity and humiliation of my father’s affair. Through these months of anguish and pain she not only came to fully forgive all who had harmed her but she was able to enjoy the company, love and best wishes of the many many people she had helped over the years – indeed some 700 people attended her funeral and many came up to us recounting familiar tales of her generosity of time and love.

    I came to realise a vital truth – and that is that there are tremendously important even vital life lessons to be learned through the process of death. These lessons are for the dying and the surviving family. The experiences by the side of my dying mother have shaped me in ways that no other life experiences have been able to. These lessons are ones we would never volunteer for but had we believed the liberal mantra about euthanasia, all I know is that my mother, her children and many of her dear friends may have been robbed of crucial, life changing, powerful emotional experiences.

    My mother was ready to die and yet as death came close, she clung grimly to what was left of her life. It taught me that the instinct to live, an instinct that has kept many brutalised prisoners alive in the midst of unimaginable torture, is very palpably real. To those whose pain is so oppressive as to contemplate this act I can only commend my mother’s experience as one that profoundly transformed her into a most serene and loving person who was able to impart to all around her such great love and wisdom that those emotions remain raw and real a decade and half later. She was not always so saintly (for want of a better term) due to the traumas in her life but the process of her death was transforming for her and us.

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  24. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Another point on: Also, there are viable alternatives in pallative care.

    What the best possible palliative care did for my mother over her last few days was supply her with regular drugs, support relatives who were on death watch, and turn her regularly.

    The regular turns were necessary, but they were awful. They were about the only times my mother became semi awake, because it was so disruptive and uncomfortable for her.

    It was a turn that actually triggered her death. It’s ironic that they are allowed to turn a patient and know it can commonly precipitate death, but they can’t up her drugs to do the same thing.

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  25. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Fletch, that was indeed an uplifting story, but I believe it would be a mistake to assume that all terminal suffering is valuable. What stood out for me, as much as the strength of that woman and the love of her family, was that she was given the choice. She made a choice to continue until the natural end of the process (and all power to her and her example). VE is not about removing that choice; it provides it.

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  26. annie (539 comments) says:

    You certainly do need strong safeguards, if you legalise euthanasia. But it is the right thing to do. People should be able to decide to end their lives, if they are rational and they have little or no quality of life.

    I agree. This is an overdue debate, and is a fundamental personal freedom issue. The hospice movement is fond of promulgating its objective of a comfortable exit as if it is achievable in all cases. Where their services are available, they are excellent (Te Omanga Hospice in Lower Hutt for example), or good in many cases (Mary Potter in Wellington – if you fall ill and die to a timetable they tend to come through, god help you if you need them in a hurry, they’re not afraid to say no).

    However, there are still many patients for whom reasonable relief of suffering is not possible. If I found myself in that situation, I’d want to control my own exit. The big advantage of voluntary euthanasia is that someone can choose to die in a comfortable and controlled manner, having been able to say goodbye to family – a matter of comfort to both the person and their family. The suicide options are almost all messy and pretty horrible for everyone.

    Why should the deluded religious deprive the rest of us of freedom over own affairs? As usual, they are happy to contemplate dreadful suffering – other people’s as well as their own – in the interests of protecting what they believe to be their own immortal souls. Absurd.

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  27. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    Why should the deluded religious deprive the rest of us of freedom over own affairs? As usual, they are happy to contemplate dreadful suffering – other people’s as well as their own – in the interests of protecting what they believe to be their immortal souls.

    Very well said.

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  28. David in Chch (519 comments) says:

    I agree, adze. The story you provided Fletch was a beautiful uplifting story, but the woman in the story had the _choice_, and made a conscious decision. The point is that no one is allowed a choice right now. No one. And yet we all have heard whispered stories of assisted deaths for those in terrible pain. Let’s make that choice, or at least a discussion of that choice, available.

    Right now, Fletch & co are saying that if it is wrong for them, it is wrong for everyone. As those of us who have had or are having personal experiences of dying without dignity have been saying, that is not universally acceptable.

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  29. iMP (2,385 comments) says:

    Euthanasia is not just about personal choice. Legal change shapes attitudes to humanity, affects people institutionally, and radically affects social parameters on life and death. It is definately a slippery slope. We must defend the intrinsic inalienable humanity of human beings regardless of suffering and disability. they must be protected absolutely. Euth. erodes this absolute.

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  30. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Seriously, iMP? You think that torturing someone by forcing them to continue suffering against their will is “protecting humanity”? Piss off.

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  31. David in Chch (519 comments) says:

    iMP. Your absolute NOT says it is better for my father to slowly die a bit each day watching my mother turn into an empty shell. You see some sort of humanity there, but it is based on what I assume is a religious belief that not everyone shares. You say it is wrong; I say it is wrong for my parents to suffer as they do. I am sorry, but your “humanity” denies my parents their right to a humane life and death. Frankly I think it is bullshit.

    sigh. I think my emotion is taking over here, so I think it is time to remove myself from any more of this discussion.

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  32. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Euthanasia is like abortion….opposed to it?…then don’t do it.

    And imp….? You try and keep me alive against my will and I will take your life against yours….I would regard it as a defensive action against an assault upon my human rights ,simple enough for you?

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  33. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Some silly bugger said “Cue the religious nutcakes” and along comes Fletch.

    Fletch (1,975) Says:

    July 9th, 2011 at 11:16 am
    trout, it is because life has inherent value – that’s why any kind of murder is (or should be) wrong – even self-murder.
    I do know that it is a hard concept to get across. I know it is a very Catholic idea, but there is value in suffering; Christ redeemed the world by His suffering.

    This might (or might not) explain it –

    Christ’s suffering also is the path to our salvation. Christ suffers and dies. And in this he pays the price for our being able to have our sins forgiven and we can attain heaven and eternal life with God.

    How on earth can this be an argumnet for or against anything? Just for a moment, let us assume the christ fairytale is truth.

    1. Christ did not have to die, god could have forgiven sin at anytime without requiring anyone or anything to die.

    2. Christ did not suffer. As god, he could alleviate his own pain at anytime.

    3. Christ did not die. The godly keep telling us he is still alive, so did he die or is he living?

    4. Christ’s sacrifice was no sacrifice at all. Would you agree to be killed if you knew 72 hours later you’d be alive and well and living in Heaven? Christ’s sacrifice is a myth, Austin Hemming’s sacrifice is real and noble.

    So, with such warped thinking, with the veneration of torture, with the wearing of a torture symbol as jewellery, is it anyone the christians want everyone to suffer. How odd that some people can only get their rocks off by standing by and watching pain and sufferring in others when they have the means to prevent such sufferring.

    Sadly, John Key won’t ahve tha balls to make VE an election issue or to bring a bill before the House. He simply damns us with platitudes once again.

    John, grow a set, use your electoral capital and actually do something that will improve people’s lives. Just once.

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  34. James (1,338 comments) says:

    MNIJ….well said.

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  35. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Jack – I was referring to the religious nutcakes who dishonestly pretend there’s some other reason they’re against this, especially the supreme hypocrites who claim they’re acting in the interest of the person they’re seeking to torture. To be fair to Fletch, at least he’s open that it’s all about the nutcake-ery, I respect him for that.

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  36. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    The Christians are as bad as the bloody socialists. They both claim with authority to know whats best for me. The god botherers fret about my immortal soul (ignoring that I’m an atheist) & the socialists know better than I what to do about the contents of my wallet.

    How about we come to an agreement… I’ll sort out my soul & cash – they can make what ever arrangements they like about theirs.

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  37. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    By the same rational David, you must support the death penalty for the most heinous of murderers?

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  38. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    What people forget is there is already euthanasia for people who are ‘brain dead’ generally as a result of serious injury. This is simply withdrawal of life support and is a decision made between doctors and family. An offender who cause the injuries is open to a murder charge in such cases if murderous intent can be proved ie intention to kill or inflict injuries likely to cause death and death occurs.

    There are other circumstances which are right on the knife edge and in such cases the hospital concerned goes to the High Court to seek its approval. It goes without saying that these are extremely sad and stressful cases and courts in UK and NZ decide these case by case (ie not setting any precedent which someone can act on without going to court).

    An example in the UK was where Siamese twins could only be separated if one was sacrificed and if not separated quality of life would be zilch and they would die soon anyway. Either the Appeal Court or House of Lords judicial Committee approved this (I cannot remember which one) and the judges heard from parties with a general legitimate interest in the case including lawyers for the Catholic Church.

    As long as there are proper safeguards, there IMO is nothing fundamentally wrong with euthanasia. An appropriate safeguard could be that it is subject to a coroner’s approval.

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  39. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    It is definately a slippery slope.

    I don’t agree, iMP. Why do you think it is?

    By the same rational David, you must support the death penalty for the most heinous of murderers?

    Adolf is there not a difference between killing someone without their consent, and VE?

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  40. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Adolf “By the same rational David, you must support the death penalty for the most heinous of murderers?”

    Non-sequitur of the day. Fuck’s sake.

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  41. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Re: the “religious nutcake” argument.

    As a Christian I perfectly understand the rationale put forward by Fletch and I’m not surprised someone like MNIJ can’t make head nor tail of it. Not surprised at all.

    However, just because that is one Christian perspective does not mean that all Christians have it, thinking which is a fundamental error many make which you see a lot of.

    Another way to look at VE from a Christian perspective is to look at the love of the Lord and the compassion He displays. (Once again people like MNIJ will read that and immediately think to cite Biblical passages of rapine and slaughter just to prove I’m wrong about this being a central theme in Christian thinking, proving once again what an utter moron he is, in this area, about which he knows nothing.)

    I know the Lord does not permit suffering but the law that overrides this is the law of free will. If someone chooses to hurt or attack another and cause suffering whether physical or emotional the Lord will not step in but He will be there nevertheless. But if it’s the person themselves, fully compos mentis, then this is their free will saying, in full knowledge and with compassion: Lord, I’ve had enough, please let it end quickly. Now Jesus Himself said this to the Lord when he asked the Lord to take his cup, “if thou wilt. Nevertheless not as I will but as thou does” Evidentially the Lord didn’t wilt that time which is lucky for us otherwise the curtain would never have been torn and Jesus would not be the passage to the Lord. But if Jesus Himself willed this for himself, why can’t others will it for themselves?

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  42. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Righhhhht reid, so your argument is basically that “will” should only consist of agreeing with the semi-fictional founder of your religion? Not really “will” then is it?

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  43. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    PIA you’re in the same category as MNIJ and I simply can’t be bothered correcting either of your profound and deep misunderstandings in any way.

    It’s not very Christian of me I know, but I hope the Lord will forgive me and I know He understands why I’m doing it.

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  44. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Given up trying to make sense eh reid? Probably the best you can do from your position.

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  45. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Given up trying to make sense eh reid?

    Not at all PIA it’s just there’s no point talking to a brick wall and you my friend, on this, are one.

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  46. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Ahhh, so you’ve decided on the basis of one two-sentence post of mine that you have need to defend your argument to anyone? Does rather look like you’re looking for an excuse to run away, does it not?

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  47. Nigel Kearney (1,013 comments) says:

    Is it just coincidence this is posted under the ad that says ‘cure not found … yet’?

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  48. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Ahhh, so you’ve decided on the basis of one two-sentence post of mine that you have need to defend your argument to anyone?

    No I decided after a long time of reading what both you and MNIJ say about religion whenever it comes up over the years, that neither of you knew anything about it but are ignorant of this ignorance. There’s nothing more fruitless than engaging with a fool when they are in the midst of practicing their folly, so that’s why I don’t bother.

    If you want to know what to do, drop your skepticism and read the whole Bible from cover to cover, at least once. If you haven’t even ever done that, you don’t know a thing about what you’re talking about. If you have already done that and you’re objecting on biblical grounds, then I’m happy to engage with either of you in a biblical discussion but unless that’s the case and it’s just your opinion speaking and no actual religious facts are involved in your hypothesis, I’m not interested.

    Don’t forget I said there were two things you have to do, not just one.

    Drop your skepticism.

    Read the whole thing from Genesis 1:1 to Revelations 22:21 in that order.

    If you want a reason to do it, then recall from history the numbers of towering intellects and great people much brighter than you who have over the centuries been taken with it time and time again generation after generation including up to today and consider therefore it might just possibly hold some importance in life.

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  49. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Bastard religious types who whine people should suffer before death, after watching an Aunt die of cancer I would let those types suffer all right with no bloody pain relief the way their sky fairy wanted it.

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  50. tom hunter (4,858 comments) says:

    I suspect John Key’s newfound support for euthanasia may have something to do with his likely political partners.

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  51. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    No grumpy foolish old Maori- it was Christianity that said that human life was of value being created in the image of God. That is why we look after our elderly rather than knock them on the head when they are old and can’t hunt any more. That is why we stopped the Roman practice of infanticide.
    Now godless liberals say life is not important and we should just die because our life is of no use.

    Horrible baskets you godless are. Kill the unborn child,kill the elderly. Believing that you are the most enlightened people in the world. You are immoral barbarians dragging us back to pre Christian barbarism.

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  52. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    If you want to know what to do, drop your skepticism and read the whole Bible from cover to cover, at least once. If you haven’t even ever done that, you don’t know a thing about what you’re talking about. If you have already done that and you’re objecting on biblical grounds, then I’m happy to engage with either of you in a biblical discussion but unless that’s the case and it’s just your opinion speaking and no actual religious facts are involved in your hypothesis, I’m not interested.

    Wrong thread, reid, you’ll get us demerits if we play that game here. However, seems to me all you want to do is indulge in circular reasoning by arguing the bible on biblical grounds, rather than on the grounds of truth, reason and deduction.

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  53. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Scott, I can’t find anything in xtianity to support “Christianity that said that human life was of value being created in the image of God”. Seems to me that bit was stolen from the Jews.

    Now godless liberals say life is not important and we should just die because our life is of no use.

    I know a lot of godless people who don’t support abortion or VE. I am ambivalent about abortion, passionately in favour of VE.

    IF your god is so powerful and all knowing, why didn’t he provide us with antibiotics? Because his idiot son thought disease was caused by sin, not by bacteria, viruses, infections, rogue cells, etc. IF Jesus was so smart, why didn’t he understand germ theory?

    How many people have died horridly because if diseases that god created? And that god could end at once, if he so desired? And you think that’s a god worthy of worship? I think that’s a god worthy of condemnation and contempt!

    I spit on all your gods and put my trust in Man.

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  54. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Fascinating to see this post, read thu and see the debate re-focused so quickly on those evil Christians. “The Christians are as bad as the bloody socialists, religious nutters, bastard religious types etc etc”. Yawn…

    I am a Christian, and my faith guides my thoughts about the sanctity of my life. I don’t expect others to buy into that, but then as others have pointed out, it’s my life. 

    My thinking on VE in terms of impact on society is this: if the status quo is unacceptable and any change requires effort while invoking some risk, which is better/safer for us (a) to improve palliative care, or (b) allow VE knowing that humans have a behavioural tendency to morph regulation from the essential to the convenient? 

    In addition to believing an inevitable slide towards killings that have elements or convenience and cost, I oppose VE on the same basis that I oppose abortion and the death penalty: The state should not kill, nor support the killing of it’s citizens 

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  55. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    which is better/safer for us (a) to improve palliative care

    I’ve witnessed the best possible palliative care, within current law. I can’t thank the Hospice enough for what they did. My mother’s death was still bloody awful for her.

    The current law is not adequate if personal choice, better care and a decent amount of dignity is valued.

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  56. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    krazykiwi

    What part of my 12.36pm do you disagree with? We’re discussing voluntary euthanasia. It’s not as if we’re rushing into the church & shooting every tenth worshipper…..we are just giving those who have had enough of pain a way out should they choose to take it.

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  57. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @nasska –

    The Christians are as bad as the bloody socialists. They both claim with authority to know whats best for me

    Show me where I claimed to know what’s best for you, any more strongly than you or I claim to know what’s economically best for NZers as posted here almost daily

    As for ‘voluntary’ do you contend that however stringently legislated, terminally I’ll people will never feel pressure from family, caregivers, taxpayers to ‘do the right thing’?

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  58. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    MNIJ, by the points you’ve listed there about God and Christ dying it’s obvious that you don’t have a single clue about any of it…

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  59. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    krazykiwi – of course that can’t be ruled out, just like you can’t rule out people being pressured now by relatives and the law not to end their own lives when they desperately want to get it over with.

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  60. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    krazykiwi

    I said…..”The Christians are as bad as the bloody socialists. They both claim with authority to know whats best for me”.

    You said…..” oppose VE on the same basis that I oppose abortion and the death penalty: The state should not kill, nor support the killing of it’s citizens”.

    Now the way I read your statement you are opposed to all state sanctioned “killings”. Therefore your opposition would run counter to my preference to have control of my own life. The reason the Christians copped it on this thread from the word go is that most know that people supporting churches obviously hold views similar to yourself.

    Re the pressure the elderly may feel to go before their time…simply I don’t know.

    Economics…too broad a subject to argue here.

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  61. Fletch (6,395 comments) says:

    IF your god is so powerful and all knowing, why didn’t he provide us with antibiotics?

    MNIJ, but we do have antibiotics don’t we? And they’re made from materials God supplies.
    In actual fact Garlic is a natural antibiotic, so really, God DOES provide antibiotics, even growing naturally, so you’re wrong there.

    It also says in the Bible in Ecclesiasticus, chapter 38 –

    Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was who established his profession.

    From God the doctor has his wisdom, and the king provides for his sustenance.

    His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished, and gives him access to those in authority.

    God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect;

    Was not the water sweetened by a twig that men might learn his power?

    He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works,

    Through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines;

    Thus God’s creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.

    My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you:

    Flee wickedness; let your hands be just, cleanse your heart of every sin;

    Offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition, a rich offering according to your means.

    Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too.

    There are times that give him an advantage,

    and he too beseeches God That his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure.

    He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor.

    So, God is totally for medicines (which are, of course, derived from natural plants anyway), as well as prayer for healing etc.
    I really do wonder where you get some of the whacky stuff you comment here.

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  62. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Fletch (1,977) Says:

    July 9th, 2011 at 5:32 pm
    MNIJ, by the points you’ve listed there about God and Christ dying it’s obvious that you don’t have a single clue about any of it…

    You mean like Jesus thinking disease was caused by sin?

    You mean like Jesus thinking that theft was OK?

    You mean like god thinking its fair to create weak mortals, tempt them and then punish them for succumbing to temptation?

    You mean like god being a genocidal arsehole?

    I think I understand all too well the stupidities you call religion, but go on, enlighten me as to why the crucifixion was essential, rather than god just saying “OK, everybody’s forgiven”.

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  63. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Fletch (1,978) Says:

    July 9th, 2011 at 5:39 pm
    IF your god is so powerful and all knowing, why didn’t he provide us with antibiotics?

    MNIJ, but we do have antibiotics don’t we? And they’re made from materials God supplies.
    In actual fact Garlic is a natural antibiotic, so really, God DOES provide antibiotics, even growing naturally, so you’re wrong there.

    And yet it wasn’t until the work of Fleming, Florey et al that we were able to fully harness the power of antibiotics, was it? According to wikipedia Florey’s work has saved over 80 million lives. So how many people died needlessly waiting for Florey to arrive when god could have provided this knowledge at anytime?

    Ecclesiastes may talk about doctors, but doctors without knowledge of basic biology are little more than witch doctors, shamans, and faith healers.

    Quote the bible to your heart’s content, but is not “Gray’s Anatomy”.

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  64. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @nasska – how would you differentiate suicide from VE? I would diffentiate them by saying the former is solely an individuals decision, while latter involves the very ugly spectre of the interests and agenda of the living determining the outcome for some of our most needy… and the state supporting this process. Of course with a huge percentage of public healthcare cost committed to the last year of life, it’s hard to see successive governments holding any line that endorses an absolute right to life.

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  65. wat dabney (3,769 comments) says:

    For some reason Yahweh is very incompetent at making antibiotics and such like.

    Fortunately we have Johnson and Johnson, who seem to be much more capable.

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  66. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I have nothing against young people per se and have had some very interesting and candid conversations with a number of asians,

    I can’t for the life of me understand why Key would single them out – is it because it is an election year?

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  67. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    krazykiwi

    There is not a lot of difference in that the intent is the same. Suicide is a decision followed by an action by an individual, usually immediately. Voluntary euthanasia is premeditated exit to life. Obviously it could be an indication by a now healthy person that should they suffer dementia or similar they have no wish to live. It could be the desire of someone who in the terminal stage of an illness wishes to die under their own terms.

    I do agree that resistance to law change will crumble as “last year of life” costs skyrocket through technology & the baby boom.

    Either way I would not think that many in favour of VE quite imagine having dial-a-death services in the Yellow Pages. There would have to be fairly exhaustive processes to make sure that it didn’t become a quick way of getting rid of Granny.

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  68. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    seems to me all you want to do is indulge in circular reasoning by arguing the bible on biblical grounds, rather than on the grounds of truth, reason and deduction.

    MNIJ, engaging the Bible merely on “truth, reason and deduction” omits faith, which drops the scales from one’s eyes. One never will be successful in understanding the truth of that book, until and unless, one drops those scales.

    This doesn’t mean one suspends skepticism, the theory is subject to proof, after all, but it does mean, suspend negative thoughts every thirty seconds and listen genuinely to what it is saying.

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  69. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    And what is faith, reid, other than the desire for things to be as you wish, rather than as they are? Truth, reason and deduction have no need for faith, they stand or fall on the evidence alone.

    Or can you provide a better definition of faith?

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  70. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    And what is faith, reid, other than the desire for things to be as you wish, rather than as they are?

    There is no such thing as “things…as they are”. Each of us has our own perception of how things are. That’s all.

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  71. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    Pretty simple providing consent is given without coercion and witnessed.

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  72. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    All this “personal choice” crap is just about the biggest load of horse sh!t humanity has ever come up with.

    Anything that fundamentally alters or shapes how society views life and death IS EVERY BODIES BUSINESS.

    For goodness sake, no one here lives in a vacuum, your “personal choices” have a ripple down effect upon the community you live in and shape all manor of things within wider society.

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  73. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    “Cue the religious nutcakes to come on pretending they have some reason to oppose this freedom of choice other than religious nutcake-ism.”

    In a society that tells us it is ok for men and woman to mutilate their bodies to release their trapped ‘true gender’, I think “religious nutcake-ism” is firmly out of the churches control.

    Extreme pathological selfishness is all that is required for medical fruit loopery to flourish.

    Allow euthanasia, but call it “the weak persons exit procedure” to be sure their character is not hidden.

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  74. fatboy slim (77 comments) says:

    “Extreme pathological selfishness is all that is required for medical fruit loopery to flourish.”

    Just look at the fruit loop suggesting such a sadistic saga.

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  75. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Shunda

    …”Allow euthanasia, but call it “the weak persons exit procedure” to be sure their character is not hidden.”…..

    Trust me…..you’re not cut out for a career in marketing but what the Hell: Sign me up.

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  76. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    Just look at the fruit loop suggesting such a sadistic saga.

    Oh, so fat boy, you do believe a woman can be trapped in a man’s body?

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  77. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Allow euthanasia, but call it “the weak persons exit procedure”

    Shunda, I am fairly sure that if my mother could have chosen euthanasia she would have taken that option.

    She was very strong willed, very determined, and pragmatic.

    There will be few if any who have ridden the hills, valleys, and mountains as much as her, up to age 79. She has literally ridden from one end of the South Island to the other (when about 70).

    http://cavalcade.co.nz/2010/11/01/a-sad-loss-for-the-cavalcade/

    Don’t try and tell me she was a weak person.

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  78. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    And what is faith, reid

    MNIJ if I have to explain it, that means somewhere in the past, you’ve sold your soul to Satan which I believe is a federal crime which I’m not only duty-bound to report immediately but which I understand involves severe penalties for the offender, as well.

    I’m very sorry, MNIJ. I shall pray for you as you await trial.

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  79. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    Nice straw man Petey boy, but truth is, I didn’t know your mother and have no reason to believe your (biased) opinion of her character.

    Pride can also be a motivation to not fully participate in the realities of life and death on this planet, both to kill before a life has been lived and to exit on ones own terms.

    The strong fight, the weak give up, it is never any different.

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  80. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    I don’t know you Shunda, so why should I believe you? I could as easily claim you’re weak believing what you say you believe.

    There are many differences, between people and during the course of one’s life.

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  81. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    Don Brash could have it both ways if he introduced involuntary euthanasia of Maori?

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  82. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    reid

    A blatant case of heresy if I ever heard of one…how should he be executed? Should a site for the crucifixion be chosen now to allow for time for appeals under the RMA?

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  83. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    There are many differences, between people and during the course of one’s life.

    Yeah, and the key words here are “during the course”, the birth bit and the death bit are the unifying factor.

    Tell me Pete, does evolution reward those that fight to live or those that wish to die?

    No matter which way you look at it, euthanasia is irrational and a construct of human ‘values’ and has nothing to do with the realities and principles of life on this planet.

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  84. fatboy slim (77 comments) says:

    Sorry Shunda, my dig was at John Key even thinking about throwing the euthanasia debate into the public arena. Life is not valued in NZ, just look at the Kahui Twins.
    Nobody has the right to take a life. End of story.

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  85. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    Evolution favours those who breed and raise sufficient offspring.

    After they can no longer do that in many cases they are a burden on survival, with humans in the distant past, and in many animal species. So evolution will favour those that breed, raise and then don’t use any more resources, so dying then would often be an advantage for evolution.

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  86. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    Pete, can you please provide me with an evolutionary precedent where an organism voluntarily ends it’s life to preserve resources.

    Because the way I see it, even an elderly gazelle runs like sh!t to escape the hungry lion.

    If you believe that evolution explains life on this planet, then you have to accept that a fundamental principle is that every living organism clings to said life like sh!t to a blanket.

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  87. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    MNIJ’s point is deep:

    And what is faith, reid, other than the desire for things to be as you wish, rather than as they are? Truth, reason and deduction have no need for faith, they stand or fall on the evidence alone.

    Faith is the essence nay very point, of life, MNIJ. Religion is about to whom your faith is directed. A-religious people don’t even understand there is a question, let alone what the question is let alone what the answer is.

    Possibly because they view the world in their own, narrow existential terms rather than in a holistic sense, who knows. The relevant fact is, they do.

    Religious people however acknowledge other things are happening, beyond science, beyond understanding, but happening nevertheless.

    Personally I think as a human, one owes it to oneself to thoroughly familiarise oneself to both sides to this equation: both the faith-filled and the rest. This is why MNIJ I have study hobbies in things like particle physics and astro-physics as well as study hobbies in the faith-filled areas, as well. Not to mention practices.

    At the end of the day MNIJ, a G-d-fearing society based on historical evidence, would be a heck of a lot more stable than ours is today, so which is the best way, for us as a species? If we used today’s technology and also, were G-d-fearing?

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  88. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Euthanasia literally translates to “Good Death”

    The alternative is a bad death.

    It is important to make the distinction here. Euthanasia is not about choosing death over life. It is about choosing a dignified death over a far worse alternative. As someone who watched his mother go through terrible suffering rather than the dignified death she wanted, I am in no doubt that the debate needs to be had.

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  89. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    I believe that in the case of terminal illness, someone should have the choice about when and how to end their life. I also believe that people that don’t like this idea are under no obligation to do it themselves. I also think, if it were me (God forbid), I would fight for as long as I could.

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  90. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Mother-in-law had dementia. Rough for those who loved her, but she was perfectly happy in her new little world.
    She wasn’t the person people had known, but she was still a person.
    She had one lovely birthday, where she said she was having a great day. OK, she didn’t know who the guests were. But that hurt them, not her.

    Killing her would’ve been murder and not her choice at all.

    It’s easy to talk about capital punishment, euthanasia, in the abstract, as long as it’s someone vaguely else we imagine doing the deed. We don’t have to witness it or have blood on our hands.
    If you’ve ever held a cat while a vet gave it a lethal injection, you know how awful that feels. ‘A feeling of guilt and betrayal, even though the animal is suffering.
    I can’t begin to imagine how much worse those feelings would be as you watched a medic kill a person you loved.

    Who does the killing anyway? Morally, what does that make them, paid killers?

    But yeah, the biggest fear is that it ends up an easy way to get rid of the old and inconvenient and no longer useful, who are pushed into not wanting to be a burden in any way.

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  91. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    My grandad was in his late 80s and had suffered a series of strokes. He had got to the point where he was completely bedridden, could do nothing including feeding himself but could get out the odd word or two that could be barely understood and was looked after by my mum and aunts. I remember getting roped in to help and there was I, 15, and putting him on a commode and wiping his arse. He repeatedly asked us (including me) to let him die. Family of catholics; though I am not convinced that is why no-one answered his pleas. I think it’s because all the women in the family were nurses and that was what they had been trained to do. He lasted over a year in that state.

    Variations on this story exist and there are plenty of cases where euthanesia is the obvious answer. We treat our pets better than we treat people in these circumstances and yes I’ve held a pet while the vet puts it to sleep – hated it but hated I waited too long to do it – the pet was in too much pain and nothing further could be done.

    My mother died rather badly and in a protracted manner of cancer. She never wanted it ended early. These 2 cases to me clearly represent typical cases and in a fair world my grandad could have died painlessly and my mother could do what she did.

    If I ever get to the point I want to die I hope someone answers my pleas. My wife has made me promise to end her life if the circumstances warrant it. Buggered if I know how to do that under the current laws,

    For the religious amongst you answering here – that has no relevance – if I don’t believe in the religious concept of sanctity of life then you cannot apply that concept to me.

    The argument isn’t whether there should be euthanesia – it should be about building the rules around it.

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  92. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    It is important to make the distinction here. Euthanasia is not about choosing death over life. It is about choosing a dignified death over a far worse alternative.

    And in an ideal world it may well be limited to that, but just as abortion is only supposed to be available for ‘mental health’ reasons, we can have no realistic expectation or workable way to limit euthanasia to the ‘ideal’ circumstances.

    The reality is, terminally ill people often already have some control over when they ‘go’ and most can be made comfortable by artificial means, which is why the real euthanasia debate is about ‘on demand’ death, and don’t for a second think it isn’t.

    Compassion for the suffering is a noble and dignified trait, death on demand is a sick distortion of reality and an evil distortion of compassion.

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  93. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Compassion for the suffering is a noble and dignified trait, death on demand is a sick distortion of reality and an evil distortion of compassion.

    Au contrare Shunda death on demand is a very human need.

    If you haven’t been there you don’t really get why.

    It’s one of those.

    You had to be there.

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  94. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    Here is a good example of how this issue will develop:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/mar/08032606

    This excerpt is particularly interesting:

    “Remember, the issue of euthanasia is not about terminal illness, it is not about individual autonomy, it is not about suffering. It is about ending life based on individual autonomy or ending lives that are not worth living.

    “In other words. You can’t have a little bit of euthanasia because if it is deemed to be a “good action” then why wouldn’t it be ‘good’ for everyone.”

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  95. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Here is a good example of how this issue will develop:

    Really?

    You really think this will open the floodgates to that?

    Crikey.

    Who’s your dealer, Shunda?

    It’s just for you to sound like that, it has to be pretty good, right?

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  96. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Why didn’t Kevorkian take the opportunity to top himself when he was terminal?

    He was good at helping but didn’t have the nuts to do himself, funny that.

    Everybody here is talking about youth in asia for other people.

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  97. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Two Christians, one God, one conundrum, two polar opposite points of view?

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  98. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Everybody here is talking about youth in asia for other people.

    You haven’t been paying very close attention have you Paul.

    I’m not sure what to say…

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  99. shady (246 comments) says:

    This subject makes me so angry/frustrated! My mum died 3yrs and 5 days ago – a cruel cancer that robbed her of her dignity and life. The last 3 months being absolutely shocking.

    Unless you have had a loved one die in such a cruel way, you have no right to pass judgement.

    Palliative care is an absolute joke in some circumstances – as was ours. It disgusts me that some of you have the arrogance and ignorance to inflict your ideals (predominantly religious) on others. Our mother may have chosen a shorter route had the option been there to save us all from the prolonged pain – both physical and mental. She may not have.

    But she didn’t have that option!

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  100. nasska (11,525 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    …”Everybody here is talking about youth in asia for other people.”…

    Obviously I can’t speak for anyone else on the forum but I can assure you that my interest in the debate is personal.

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  101. Pete George (23,568 comments) says:

    This excerpt is particularly interesting:

    “Remember, the issue of euthanasia is not about terminal illness, it is not about individual autonomy, it is not about suffering. It is about ending life based on individual autonomy or ending lives that are not worth living.

    “In other words. You can’t have a little bit of euthanasia because if it is deemed to be a “good action” then why wouldn’t it be ‘good’ for everyone.”

    That sounds nonsensical.

    It won’t be ‘good’ for everyone because everyone won’t choose to do it. It’s simple to have “a little bit of euthanasia” because only a small proportion will choose it – and many simply don’t get a choice.

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  102. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Nasska

    I understand that but it is very easy for many to talk about it when its not concerning them directly. I also understand that for those with freinds and family suffering its very real and we hate to see the suffering but I don’t think it is up to me to put my parents down like I have various pets.

    And without meaning to be remotely trite about this. how much of this debate is about sparing us, the survivors some anguish, us some suffering, letting us get on with our lives.

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  103. shady (246 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay – this is not about allowing you to put your parents down like pets, it is about your parents having the choice to make their own end easier if they are in a terminal, painful situation.

    Or perhaps a different translation for you specifically – what about turning life support off in a dire situation. If there was no hope of survival – would you do it?

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  104. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Shady

    Turning life support off is totally different, my wife and I had to make that decision for my mother in law.

    What about where dementia is a factor, and the victim ,for want of a better word is unaware do we step in?

    terminal cancer patients are another catagory, anecdotally, of course, you hear of health professionals giving the morphine pump an extra squirt and its over who makes the decesion

    Where do you start and where do you draw the line, my father recently had a stroke, he is now in a position that when the next bit of a clot moves it will kill him. Does the State at some stage make a decision that it is not worth spending the dollar on him for the inevitable so they make the decision for him. Extreme I know but once the gate is open anything can happen.

    So back to my comment above why didn’t Kerkovian take his own advice? My answer is the human spirit is strong and will put up with anything to keep going

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  105. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    It disgusts me that some of you have the arrogance and ignorance to inflict your ideals (predominantly religious) on others.

    And it disgusts me that people think they have a monopoly on ‘death’ because they have witnessed it, the appeal to authority based on personal tragedy is weak, emotive, and utterly irrelevant on a societal level, you also have no idea on what others have witnessed either, death is common to all of us.

    And religious? it has nothing to do with it, it is about life and how it is defined and you could make just as strong an argument against euthanasia based on natural laws.

    I know a heap of people that have an irrational fear of death, people that choose to live every day with a poor grasp on reality and where they are at in life, enabling such behaviour never leads to anything productive.

    The answer is perhaps to embrace death while one is young, come to terms with our eventual demise and the possibility for suffering, and be prepared for what a small proportion of us may have to endure.

    We don’t have the right to a painless death, and if you disagree, please tell me on what basis, on what logic and on what moral foundation.

    A painful death is one last unfortunate, painful inconvenience for a small proportion of us, and quite frankly if one has made it into old age, one is already luckier than many.

    People get killed in cars, drown in rivers, and blown up in coal mines, or perhaps killed in buildings during earthquakes.
    Quite frankly, if I can have a long life with my wife and children, and live into old age and die after a short period of suffering, I will be a happy man.

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  106. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Shunda

    Very good comment……….We don’t have the right to a painless death…….the rest of its good to

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  107. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    Does the State at some stage make a decision that it is not worth spending the dollar on him for the inevitable so they make the decision for him. Extreme I know but once the gate is open anything can happen.

    Paul, that’s hysteria, you know it, I know it, surprised you generate it.

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  108. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Its not hysteria Reid and it did come with a disclaimer. Thats an extreme scenario like I said.

    Life and death are natural , I am saying lets keep politics out of this at least.

    Most commentators here are notoriously anti any social engineering and we have a thread where we are talking about engineering the end of lives. I am not that precious that this shouldn’t be discussed but I would not be happy with some of the intellectual giants in Wellington voting on legislation that would legalize the premature ending of lives

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  109. shady (246 comments) says:

    And by what logic do you say we don’t have the right to a painless death? What logic and basis? You want the right to a painful, prolonged death which all your loved ones are witness to. Well good on you. You have that right.

    I would like the right to a dignified end.

    Pauleastbay – that extra pump is certainly anecdotal – and certainly wasn’t “available” in our mother’s palliative care. Our mother chose not to have any further intervention when all it was doing was prolonging her life, which by this stage was shocking! When she asked for more drugs, (she was on medazalam) she was denied – because we/she might be trying to kill her!!! She wasn’t even on morphine!

    Why is turning off life support different? What makes it different?

    I would also like to live a long life, and hope that when the end comes, it is either sudden, or I have some control over how I go if it is prolonged – to ease any suffering.

    In my opinion, dementia illnesses shouldn’t be included, infact I don’t believe I have seen anyone in support of VE in the case of dementia. Just you that keeps on raising it. All comments above in support of VE have been by relatives of someone who has died a painful death of cancer – not the inconvenience of the likes of dementia.

    It is a good debate to be had.

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  110. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Shady

    It is a good debate to be had……..

    It surely is and I think it is one far to great for humans to make a definative decision on.

    Your last comment includes ..dementia illenss shouldn’t…. so we are already quantifying what qualifies and so we move into the political realm and this is far too serious for politics.

    The only hope I have is to go before my children because thats the way its ” supposed to be” other than that its been a blast ,enjoy it every day and mock as many politicians as you can along the way.

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  111. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    Interesting to re-read the parliamentary debate from 8 years ago.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/c/5/1/47HansD_20030730_00001096-Death-with-Dignity-Bill-First-Reading.htm

    I particularly remember hearing Rodney Hide’s speech on the radio.

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  112. shady (246 comments) says:

    Thanks Rodders – really interesting. So the debate just repeats then.

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  113. Boloni (7 comments) says:

    Interesting debate.are any of you bloggers in the zone ?

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  114. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    And by what logic do you say we don’t have the right to a painless death? What logic and basis?

    Because a “right” is an appeal to authority, a rule, or a moral – this is the stuff of religion.
    The world around us provides an abundant commentary on life and death, and nowhere on this planet does any living organism give up it’s life without a fight.
    Why should we be any different?

    I would like the right to a dignified end.

    True dignity is gained from the way we respond to adversity, there is no more dignified way to die than through mental strength and determination.

    And dignity is gained through the way you live your life, if you don’t have it when your time is up, you don’t have it.

    There are tremendous and lasting lessons to be gained from death and dying for the ‘living’, being a witness to death will always have a lesson.
    Sometimes the lessons are positive due to the courage and dignity of the deceased, sometimes the lessons are much harder and ‘negative’ due to the way someone chose to live their life.
    Both are extremely important in order to carry on with a positive legacy, or perhaps end a negative one.

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  115. wolfjung (59 comments) says:

    Stands to reason what Key says, in the free market there needs to be healthy competition, why should someone have to travel all the way to Switzerland and pay Dignitas 10’000 francs to die with dignity in a Zurich appartment?

    That money should be kept in the NZ economy. Those Swiss are the most cunning bunch on the planet with their neutrality.

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  116. Boloni (7 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda Complete rubbish, most living organisms are eaten before they get old Very dignified

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  117. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda Complete rubbish, most living organisms are eaten before they get old Very dignified

    So what? talk about missing the point.

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  118. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Shunda

    You have made a number of strong claims but I put it to you that they are weakly supported.

    The world around us provides an abundant commentary on life and death, and nowhere on this planet does any living organism give up it’s life without a fight.

    There is an acknowledged paucity of study of suicide in the animal kingdom, but some species of insects are known to “self-destruct” to protect their brethren or nests.

    Why should we be any different?

    Your argument is that because other species of animals don’t do something, we shouldn’t either? You don’t see any problems with this?

    True dignity is gained from the way we respond to adversity, there is no more dignified way to die than through mental strength and determination. [...]if you don’t have it when your time is up, you don’t have it.

    Uh huh. That sounds like an appeal to a moral principle. And yet you said earlier:

    Because a “right” is an appeal to authority, a rule, or a moral – this is the stuff of religion.

    So which religion informs your claim above? And why should it be imposed upon others who do not accept your point of view?

    I think it is more reasonable to accept that there may be some situations where suffering is pointless. The choice should always be with the terminal sufferer, there are doubtless many who feel they way you do and VE does in no way undermine their choice.
    Finally, it’s interesting that you bring up parallels in the animal kingdom. How do you feel about euthanising animals with inoperable conditions – to “humanely” relieve their suffering? Do you think they should be required to “learn from their suffering” also?

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  119. Boloni (7 comments) says:

    Shunda barundo When you are in the position of experiencing the health problems that make you contemplate V E maybe we can debate it

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  120. Boloni (7 comments) says:

    Shunda I see you would be quiie happy to die after a short painful illness in your old age. Would you still be happy if like me the pain and illness went on for more than twenty years with no end in sight and the problems getting worse by the day

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