Prime Minister John Key says euthanasia already happens in our hospitals – and if he was terminally ill, he would consider it.
Doctors disagreed with him last night, saying his view of the situation was too simplistic.
We definitely have passive euthanasia – it is quite common. Active euthanasia, would be very rare, but I suspect there are cases where the drug dosage is increased with a quicker end in mind.
Mr Key said yesterday that he could understand the argument that legalising euthanasia might put pressure on the elderly to end their lives early, in the face of “rapacious grandkids”, but “I don’t really buy that argument”.
“I think there’s a lot of euthanasia that effectively happens in our hospitals,” he told Newstalk ZB.
“. . . If I had terminal cancer, I had a few weeks to live, I was in tremendous amount of pain – if they just effectively wanted to turn off the switch and legalise that by legalising euthanasia, I’d want that.”
As would many people, who are denied the choice.
Of course with euthanasia, there is a risk of abuse. Just as with fracking there is a samll risk of small earthquakes and with our criminal justice system there is a risk of innocent people going to jail.
These are all reasons to minimise risk, and have strong safeguards in place. They are not reasons to not allow people to decide to die if in pain and suffering.
Also yesterday, Mr Key revealed that his views on gay marriage had changed, largely in response to having children.
He has stated his support for a bill legalising gay marriage, but said: “If you asked me questions on same-sex marriage 20 or 30 years ago, I might have taken a different view.
“But the way I look at the world now is I look at our own kids and my No 1 priority for our children is to be happy, healthy and safe.
“I don’t think they are gay, but if they came along and said they were, I wouldn’t love them any less.”
A great attitude.
I recently met a mum whose five year old may turn out to be gay or trans-gender. He loves to wear dresses, put on jewelry etc and complains why isn’t he a girl. Now it may just be a fad or a phase, or it may be that he is “wired” that way. I asked the mum (and she is straight, and the dad is straight) if they tried to discourage him, as he may end up with a lot of teasing through his childhood if he continues to dress up as a girl etc and she said that they never ever want him to think there is something “wrong” with him. They just absolutely love him to pieces for who he is, and will just support and love him regardless of where it leads. I thought it was such a cool attitude.
The son is pretty precocious also. As a five year old when he discovered there were no costumes at school, he went along to see the principal to lobby for the school to buy some costumes for dress up.Tags: euthanasia, John Key, same sex marriage