Street drops euthanasia bill

September 27th, 2013 at 6:40 am by David Farrar

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:

A bill to legalise voluntary has been withdrawn amid fears it would become a political football during election year.

Labour MP withdrew her End of Life Choice Bill before today’s member’s bill ballot.

I’m sad that Maryan has dropped the bill, because not changing the law means far too many people will have to go through unnecessary suffering.

The bill was not just about people with cancer. It would have allowed people like Martin Hames who had Huntington’s disease to live for many more years, as he would not have had to commit suicide if he had known that he could choose an assisted suicide later on in his life when his disease became more critical.

Street said there would probably be only two more days this year in which member’s bills would be considered by the House.

“Anything that is drawn, including the ones drawn today, will be debated in election year, and I don’t want my bill debated in election year,” she said.

“I’m concerned that it would not get the treatment it deserves. It needs sober, considered reflection, and that’s not a hallmark of election years in my experience.”

The move was simply pragmatism, she said, and she “absolutely” planned to put it back in the ballot after the election.

“Can you understand that sometimes MPs’ thought processes take a swerve in election year?”

Street was believed to have been pressured by Labour colleagues to withdraw the bill amid concerns that some would have to campaign against it, distracting from the rest of the campaign.

I don’t think it is about election year. I think it is about pressure from Labour MPs.

What would be good is if a Green Party MP took the bill and submitted it into the ballot under their name!

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132 Responses to “Street drops euthanasia bill”

  1. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    It would be even better if the Government took the bill and submitted it in their programme. That removes the reliance on a lottery and would ensure Parliament looked at it.

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  2. big bruv (13,662 comments) says:

    Which only proves once again that the dirty stinking left are more worried about getting their corrupt hands on the treasury benches than they are about doing what is right.

    I hate Street’s politics and the party she stands for but on this issue I would have backed her to the hilt. The religious scum have no right at all to tell the rest of us that should we fall terminally ill that we should all have to suffer because of their stupid belief in the sky fairy.

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  3. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    big bruv: The left have morals and scruples lower than rodents. None of them have ever done a decent day’s work, run a successful commercial venture; they live their lives in envy of the successful, leeching from ratepayers, taxpayers and ill-informed unionists. Their financial spokesman couldn’t run a small business efficiently in good trading times, going broke, ruining his affluent business partner, walking away, getting into Parliament on a Labour ticket, then lying to the House regarding this failure. This is just the tip of the iceberg . . . not one of them has any class or history of fiscal success . . . losers, the lot of them, and their supporters are worse.

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  4. big bruv (13,662 comments) says:

    Ian McK

    I do not need a lecture from you about the wrongs of the left, I am well aware of them thanks.

    What I do want is for the religious morons (sadly most are from the right) to keep their stupid sky fairy beliefs out of other peoples life’s. Nobody should be forced to suffer because it might upset somebody else’s religious bigotry.

    Street pulled this bill because it would have created a debate that the nation must have. Yes it would have meant that religious low life like Lucia and the rest of her child molesting church would have started a media war but in my book that is all the more reason to have the debate.

    Religious bigotry must be defeated, the church (and the Catholic church in particular) must have no say in the laws of this land. I want to live in a nation where the views of the religious community are irrelevant to any legislation.

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  5. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    big bruv: Wait until the left get into power and fill NZ with Muslims, as they have in Britain, then let them run roughshod over us all. I would far prefer Christian doctrine than that of Islam.

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  6. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    Note the hatred in bigot bruv’s 649.

    The “religious scum” as he so spitefully puts it, aren’t stopping anyone from doing anything.

    All ills placed at the door of religion.

    What a bigot!

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  7. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Ah yes, the old “all catholics are child molestors” shtick. Meanwhile, Dawkins tells us that child molestation is ok, so long as it’s not too serious.

    “Religious bigotry must be defeated, the church (and the Catholic church in particular) must have no say in the laws of this land. ”

    Funny thing is if you want the church to have no say, that means you have to remove the vote of all church members. Sort of sad how it’s so accepted in this day and age to make calls that are only just short of full-blown religious persecution.

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  8. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    And of course, that’s outside the evidence that relaxing laws on euthanasia opens the door to serious abuses which are very hard to guard against.

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  9. Mobile Michael (439 comments) says:

    Three comments in and the religious name calling starts… Just once can we have a debate on a moral issue without resorting to insults?

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  10. bringbackdemocracy (419 comments) says:

    Ah Street, a politician of other peoples convictions. No wonder she’s unelectable.

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  11. big bruv (13,662 comments) says:

    Ian McK

    “I would far prefer Christian doctrine than that of Islam.”

    Then you are no better than the Muslims. Why the hell should ANY doctrine dictate our life?

    The religion that you so stupidly follow is just as evil, just as irrational and just as murderous.

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  12. big bruv (13,662 comments) says:

    kowtow

    “All ills placed at the door of religion.”

    Can you think of a better door for it to be placed at?

    You can stand there with your eyes closed as long as you like, however when you finally do open those eyes you will see that the truth is still standing in front of you.

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  13. MrTips (150 comments) says:

    “I’m sad that Maryan has dropped the bill, because not changing the law means far too many people will have to go through unnecessary suffering.”

    Suffering is a reality and you will never remove it from life. Eventually euthanasia proponents will claim unnecessary suffering to be not getting a star from the teacher at school.

    Even Maryan Street admitted a slippery slope in the media sometime ago: “Ms Street said her decision to include “irreversible mental condition” in the criteria had stirred up a lot of criticism.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9029221/Euthanasia-bill-close-to-MPs-heart

    This bill was removed because it would have euthanised any chance of Labour winning next year. And we all know how Parliamentary select committees lie to the public with respect to social engineering legislation.

    If proponents of euthanasia, like DPF, spent more time doing community good works and helping out at rest homes etc. instead of pontificating from self made thrones, funded primarily by other peoples donations, then they may get taken seriously. Until then, they will remain part of the perceived political self satisfied, downtown Wellington elite, surrounded by reality.

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  14. nasska (11,078 comments) says:

    I’d imagine that many of the Godnutters would change their views on euthanasia if Trevor Mallard was sick. :)

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  15. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    mobile michael

    It was n’t three comments in ,it was 2 . From bigot bruv,as always.

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  16. Urban Redneck (234 comments) says:

    The problem with voluntary euthanasia is that it soon becomes involuntary euthanasia, as is the case in the Netherlands and Belgium where a significant number of patients are eliminated without their express consent. In fact, former Dutch health Minister Els Boorst, who was key in ushering legalized euthanasia thru the Dutch parliament later on stated that it was a mistake and more attention should have been applied to palliative care.

    For example, the British Medical Journal “found that nearly half of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were not reported. This study combined with the recent study that was published in the CMAJ in May 2010 that indicated that 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were without request or consent suggests that the Belgium euthanasia model is out-of-control.”

    Systematized euthanasia is a fantastic sounding option for progs who don’t have to face it themselves. Consider an opinion poll in Holland which found close to 70% support for euthanasia in the general public, but found 90% opposition in the nursing home population. As one doctor put it, “Patients in Holland, and they are well documented, who do not actually want euthanasia are being talked or pressured into it by families, and I find that concept very difficult.”

    Indeed.

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  17. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    “I’ll see the truth standing in front of me”

    And of course ,the truth will be that which is dictated by the likes of bigot bruv,no thanks. It was people like him who ran whole classes of people off to the gulags.

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  18. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Surely John Banks should be running with this ?

    If there is a more clear personal sovereignty issue than this, I’ve not see it.

    Isn’t this what ACT was supposed to be for ?

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  19. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    It was people like him who ran whole classes of people off to the gulags.

    No, that was a bunch of Catholics persecuting Muslims Jews.

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  20. James Stephenson (2,132 comments) says:

    Hey Bruv, it’s Friday, why don’t you come down off the fence and tell us what you really think? :D

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  21. Lance (2,616 comments) says:

    This thread was doomed from the start

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  22. bc (1,360 comments) says:

    Ye gods, Ian McK, 200 comments and they are all the same. DPF could do a post about cute puppy dogs and you would reply with something about the “evil left”. Tedious.

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  23. Dennis Horne (2,307 comments) says:

    Not sure the problem is so much the law as the police. They often seem to think when they arrest some loving son who has helped his suffering mother at the end that they have solved a murder case. Of course sometimes a family member complains, most likely someone nobody has seen for years…

    It may be not so much people wanting euthanasia to be available, as wanting absolute reassurance they won’t be left suffering because doctors are too scared to do what they think is right. Isn’t the Liverpool Care Pathway being called something else in the UK now, due to grieving and overwrought relatives complaining?

    Personally I wouldn’t want my children to face any charges, even if they finished me off because I was a humbug and a drain on their resources. Old people are a bloody nuisance and live too long. We even keep them alive hydroponically in awful institutions at enormous cost and to no avail.

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  24. bc (1,360 comments) says:

    I’m loving this post! Now we have kowtow calling people bigots. Oh the irony!

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  25. Dennis Horne (2,307 comments) says:

    nasska (7,512) Says: September 27th, 2013 at 7:40 am
    I’d imagine that many of the Godnutters would change their views on euthanasia if Trevor Mallard was sick.

    Hence the expression: Out for duck…

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  26. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    Look at bigot bruv’s posts where it is Catholicism to blame for all ills and yet parliament starts with an Anglican prayer that includes the plea for protection of true religion which in context is “Anglicanism”.

    Our laws and regulations are not being dictated to by the evil pointy hates in Rome but by fellow New Zealanders,the vast majority are not Catholic.And our legal traditions are if anything firmly Anglican.

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  27. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    bc

    Read bigot bruv’s bile at 709 and tell me it’s not bigotted.

    And I’m a bigot? Do elaborate.

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  28. Dennis Horne (2,307 comments) says:

    @kowtow. You’re more a lil’ot than a bigot. :) :) :)

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  29. Urban Redneck (234 comments) says:

    Euthanasia presents a huge tectonic shift in the patient / doctor relationship – whereby medical professionals will be able to actively put a patient to death.

    . . and further more, I seriously doubt that the motley collection of prog parliamentarians and bureaucrats who run our government would be even remotely capable of developing the necessary legal framework to deal with the hardest question of all . . how to help those patients who desire to die, without endangering others who do not.

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  30. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    Now days society has downright contempt for suffering.

    People do everything to eradicate it, to exorcise it surgically, institutionalize it, give it ibuprofen, divorce it – everything but live with it.

    And it is only a short philosophical hop, skip, and a jump to the point where society also has contempt for people who suffer!

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  31. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    It was people like him who ran whole classes of people off to the gulags.

    While I would never make a comment like that, it is true that the communists were convinced that religion was an evil that had to be wiped off the face of the earth in order for humanity to improve…

    …and acted on that belief.

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  32. Yvette (2,761 comments) says:

    So Labour takes roughly two fucking years after the Election to settle on a Leader who then, on the announcement of his ‘victory’, says tomorrow is the first day of our 2014 Election campaign, and Maryan Street appears to back him in withdrawing this bill, noting that sober, considered reflection, is not a hallmark of election years in my experience.
    they aren’t going to risk doing anything serious next year?
    When will Labour spend any time acting as the partial Opposition, which they were elected to be?
    I think, Bugger Labour – but they seem to continually bugger themselves already.

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  33. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    ……Hey Kowtow……

    ……Big Bigot seems to be in a lot of pain today…..he’s really seething with it……

    …..he must be pissed with Street and us Christians that he can’t soon off himself…….mores the pity….. :cool:

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  34. Dennis Horne (2,307 comments) says:

    I think bugger Labour…

    You couldn’t bugger anything, Yvette.

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  35. OneTrack (2,965 comments) says:

    big bruv – “Which only proves once again that the dirty stinking left are more worried about getting their corrupt hands on the treasury benches than they are about doing what is right.”

    Too true, anything for the cause. Especially, in this case, when they get elected to govern, they simply wont need a private members bill (or cross-party support) anymore and can just legislate as they see fit. High five.

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  36. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    Euthanasia presents a huge tectonic shift in the patient / doctor relationship – whereby medical professionals will be able to actively put a patient to death.

    Not really. It would legalise what some doctors and other caregivers already assist with. The huge tectonic shift is only in some people’s minds.

    Remember that this isn’t all about doctors, it’s about giving dying people the legal right to choose for themselves.

    Some doctors won’t like it, that’s fine, they don’t have to be involved so no shift at all for them.

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  37. Redbaiter (8,234 comments) says:

    Bigot Bruv is a typical Progressive.

    He is well known to be completely dishonest and to do anything without restraint if he thinks he can get away with it.

    Doesn’t stand for anything and doesn’t have the morals of an alley cat.

    Others are right.

    He is just the kind of person who would send people to gulags.

    Just imagine what this POS would do to religious people if he had the power.

    What would stop him?

    Not his conscience or his personal morality that is clear to see.

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  38. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    Maryanne Street is paveing the road to hell…..via the slippery slope.

    If her bill were to go thru, then eventually in 20yrs time out will come the summary of statistics:

    ……..it is the Christians who are costing the tax payer the most in aged healthcare by refusing to die!

    Currently……….the atheist state is educating 92% of the nations narrsasistic children who are constantly told by the educators that SUFFERING is bad for one’s mental state of mind…….these children therefor……will more than likely one day choose death…….for various reasons OTHER than age!

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  39. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    I am personally all for it. I have had a very close relative suffer a very painful death who pleaded for release and couldn’t get it. Eventually his doctor “helped” along with some morphine I think but there was a whole lot of unnecessary suffering in the meantime.

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  40. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Ok – so let’s leave aside that nobody ‘has’ to committ suicide. It’s a choice – and I think an unethical one on the basis that the deliberate taking of a human life is wrong, even your own. Such radical concepts of personal autonomy are both utopian and contrary to human nature.

    But if we are to have legal euthanasia, then can we at least agree that doctors should have no part in it? The medical profession exists to save and preserve life – not end it as if human sufferers were no more than injured animals. As the Hippocratic Oath states: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” (No doubt KB’s resident anti-religious trolls will simply right off that oath as a Dark Ages Catholic relic – given their demonstrated levels of knowledge about history).

    No, if we are to have euthanasia, then call the professionals who administer it executioners.

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  41. ChardonnayGuy (1,195 comments) says:

    Euthanasia/assisted suicide decriminalisation bills tend to succeed in contexts where organised medical practitioners groups are either neutral on the issue or support a regulatory framework in such a context. However much public support euthanasia reform bills may or may not have is tangential, given that the opposition of organised medical groups (and often, disability rights groups too) insure that such private members bills would make it to select committee stage at best, although usually in New Zealand (1995,2003) they are defeated at their first readings. My advice to the euthanasia reform lobby would be to concentrate their efforts on medical groups to break down their intense opposition to decriminalisation.

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  42. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    “…The medical profession exists to save and preserve life – not end it as if human sufferers were no more than injured animals…….No, if we are to have euthanasia, then call the professionals who administer it executioners….”

    Very well put there Cato.

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  43. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    The slippery slope argument has great merit.

    This debate is going on in the UK at the moment in relation to how the abortion law is no longer administered.

    They have gone from preventing suffering to the mother to gender selection abortions which are against the law ,but sanctioned by doctors,and the Crown Prosecution Servive refuses to act.

    This has nothing to do with religion. It is contrary to the letter spirit and intent of the law ,but no one cares.Slippery slope.

    Who’d have thought ,gendercide in Britain?

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/427057/Jeremy-Hunt-Why-are-doctors-accused-of-abortion-based-on-gender-not-facing-prosecution

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  44. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    It’s a choice – and I think an unethical one on the basis that the deliberate taking of a human life is wrong, even your own.

    Yes, it’s a choice, so it can’t be wrong if someone makes a choice about their own life.

    Such radical concepts of personal autonomy are both utopian and contrary to human nature.

    No, there’s nothing radical or contrary about it, except in some parts of society.

    History of suicide

    In general, the pagan world, both Roman and Greek, had a relaxed attitude towards the concept of suicide, a practice that was only outlawed with the advent of the Christians, who condemned it at the Council of Arles in 452 as the work of the Devil.

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  45. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Cato at 9:05 am
    But if we are to have legal euthanasia, then can we at least agree that doctors should have no part in it? The medical profession exists to save and preserve life

    Preserve? Within limits. I’ve agreed to a DNR for a loved one, and later to discontinue all put pain relief as treatment (to do otherwise was prolonging the inevitable). As it turned out, death came before my decision was of any real consequence, but I think I made the right choice.

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  46. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    Issues such as this should be put to referendum rather than being decided by our out of touch political elite class.

    And it should go without saying that referenda be binding.

    Again our masters in Wellington don’t like the electorate having the final say…….and they wonder why the political process is held in such low regard these days…….

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  47. Chi Hsu (99 comments) says:

    I don’t think it is about election year. I think it is about pressure from Labour MPs.

    What would be good is if a Green Party MP took the bill and submitted it into the ballot under their name!

    Why does it have to be the Green Party? What’s stopping just one of the 59 National Party MPs in Parliament taking the bill and submitting it? Do you think that maybe it is about election year? Or do you think maybe it is about pressure from the National Party?

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  48. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    From a practical standpoint, gendercide is the correct thing for the pro-life to focus on. Take a leaf out of the SSM movement and lay the predicate for the cultural shift by focussing on the weakest point in the pro-death defences. If it’s not wrong to abort a “jumble of nerves and cells” because it’s inconvenient, then it can’t be wrong just because it has no Y chromosome.

    It’s like pointing out that the unborn are always called ‘the baby’ when they are wanted – never ‘the fetus’. That logical dissonance has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with why young people are becoming more pro-life.

    And once a critical mass has been reached, there are those like DPF who will instantly convert to being pro-life because of their abiding and demonstrated concern to be ‘on the right side of history’ as illustrated by demographic trends.

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  49. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    kowtow#

    “….The slippery slope argument has great merit….”

    Yep……society, the law, and the poliety now accept the fact that women are natural born killers who don’t think twice about doing it, nor do they suffer any consequences from doing it……and males are no longer allowed to save the lives of their own children!

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  50. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Pete George, I don’t want to get into a debate with you because you’re a windbag and a bore. You might think the fact that left and right alike find you to be insufferable is some sort of sign that you are a teller of uncomfortable truths but it is really just a sign of a dumb person thinking they are a smart person IMHO.

    Suffice it to say that the non-aggression principle is and never has been the boundary of ethical considerations. Do you think that somebody should have the right to sell themselves into slavery, if they so choose?

    And ‘relaxed’ about suicide or not, the assistance of a physician in suicide has been considered verboten since antiquity – and that really was my point.

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  51. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    SGA – I agree. Extraordinary steps to preserve a human life are not ethically necessary – and there are highly nuanced philosophies on such matters. However, that is different to either deliberatley withholding standard medical treatment or lethally intervening against a life in the same way one would against a rabid dog.

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  52. LiberalismIsASin (288 comments) says:

    I have followed this blog for a while but I think I will stop now. God bless you all.

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  53. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    Why should it go to the Green Party?

    Because DPF knows that this is the party that has absolutely no morality at all. At its core it is anti human and sees humanity as a “virus with legs”.

    So if you want something destructive of anything that has to do with traditional morality (not necessarily Christianity) law etc then find the Greens, they are extremists.

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  54. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    SGA#

    “…..Preserve? Within limits…….DNR…”

    DNR means you are ALREADY dead by heart. ‘Preserve’ then doesn’t come into it.
    That is also not any part of euthanasia.

    The same as turning off life support……one then dies of their natural causes ect. Again, that is not euthanasia.Cheers.

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  55. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    When’s David Garrett going to lumber in here to give us the wisdom of his crude half-witticisms and half-remembered stories from his Catholic school days?

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  56. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    Cato, I had picked you as Christian but going by your comment at 9.36 am I was wrong.

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  57. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Only if you think Christianity is about nothing more cups of free trade tea with that nice lady vicar in the wooly jumper, being non-confrontational and being nice to each other. Christianity is not Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

    Perhaps it was a little over the top and I am sorry. I just have no interest in engaging with you and wanted to make that extrememly clear.

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  58. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    You haven’t made that extremely clear. You made a petty attack and seem to have wanted no comeback.

    People who actually don’t want to engage just don’t engage.

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  59. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Good luck for the mayoral campaign!

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  60. hj (6,795 comments) says:

    I’m sorry you can’t end your life; it’s against my religion.
    I think it is very disrespectful to assume a person can’t sum up their situation and come to a rational (and very brave) decision.

    but the prophet George said 3000 years ago [insert obscure text]. Now he has gone and nobody knows that in reality he picked his nose, played with himself a lot and was generally inadequate.

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  61. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    HJ – can somebody make a rational decision to sell themselves into servitude? Would you support legislation providing for that?

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  62. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    Cato#

    “….It’s like pointing out that the unborn….”

    ‘Unborn’ is used by pro-abortionists to give the impression that the child is like the ‘undead’ in old horror movies, neither alive or dead but somewhere in between. Neither here or there; static.

    “….An intrauterine human child is none of these. He is a fully alive human being in one of many states of development. He takes in nutrition on a daily basis; he metabolizes that nutrition into energy, and he uses that energy to grow, advance and mature. When the correct state of maturity is reached, this PREBORN child will turn, and emerge from the womb.

    The term PREBORN is much more accurate in that it recognizes the condition before birth as being a state of moving forward. The intrauterine child is not static. He/she does not hang in a permanent state of suspension, but is advancing in a state of maturity and development.

    PREBORN is the term that should be used. By using the term PREborn, we remind people everywhere that birth is the ultimate goal.

    Do we call children before their teens “unpubescent” as though they have some condition that will prevent them from ever growing up? No. We call them prepubescent because we acknowledge that very soon they will approach puberty.

    Attach the prefix “un” to any word, such as the examples I gave above, and what you naturally envision is something in a permanent state. We don’t want that perception, even if unconscious, to be part of the mindset when talking about the preborn….”

    Cheers Cato.

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  63. hj (6,795 comments) says:

    Someone can make a rational decision to be killed and eaten by a homosexual lover (happend in Germany): yes, I’m against that, but that isn’t what we are talking about.

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  64. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Entirely appropriate – miscarriages happen. Before being born a person is not born.

    un- 1
    pref.
    1. Not: unhappy.
    2. Opposite of; contrary to: unrest.

    ——————————————————————————–

    [Middle English, from Old English; see ne in Indo-European roots.]

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  65. hj (6,795 comments) says:

    Harriet (2,513) Says:

    He is a fully alive human being in one of many states of development.
    ….
    so he is alive but undeveloped, the same stage as a pig foetus but a human in the making [insert soul in the discussion].

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  66. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    Cato – the mayoral campaign is going very well, I’m getting on well with candidates from both the left and the right. But that’s in real life.

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  67. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    big bruv (11,490) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Which only proves once again that the dirty stinking left are more worried about getting their corrupt hands on the treasury benches than they are about doing what is right.

    lol. It’s almost as if they are politicians.

    It always amuses me how blinkered people are about how those of a different political persuasion have impure motives or are otherwise deficient in a way that one’s own preferred corner of the political spectrum is not. Some often talk of how closed-minded and unreasonable the left is, as if to imply that this forum were a bastion of reasonable debate where opinions often shifted in the face of rebuttal. Now one is asked to beileve that the “dirty stinking left” will do anything to get their “corrupt hands” on government as if the noble right would never ever employ pragmatic policies to secure a majority. Interest-free student loans anyone?

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  68. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    PG#

    “But that’s in real life….”

    I think you are lowering yourself. Cato apoligised. There’s no need to rebuke him with crass points, and besides, I’ve never seen you do it before. Maybe you are tired – fair enough.Concentrate on the Mayoralty as it would take a lot of effort. Good luck with it. Cheers.

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  69. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    hj#

    “….so he is alive but undeveloped,…”

    Further down the quote it gets MORE pointed.

    “….but is advancing in a state of maturity and development….”

    The crux of the matter is that human development is a continuance – before birth and after doesn’t come into it.

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  70. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    “Someone can make a rational decision to be killed and eaten by a homosexual lover (happend in Germany): yes, I’m against that, but that isn’t what we are talking about.”

    Yeah but the question is your ‘ownership’ of your own life entirely determinative of the ethical considerations of how you live it. Why don’t we allow somebody to sell themselves into a serville state? It can make economic sense to do so. It might even be the best thing to do in somone’s individual circumstances. However, I doubt the libertines of the New Zealand Labour Party would agree to amend the Employment Relations Act to allow parties to voluntarily render an employment agreement permanent.

    The reason is that there are limits to personal autonomy which becomes unethical when it infringes on human dignity.

    Interestingly enough, I don’t think anyone here as cited ‘their religion’ as a justification of the ban on physician assisted euthanasia. So enough of that strawman, I think.

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  71. GPT1 (2,115 comments) says:

    This is a huge issue and worthy of great debate, very disappointing that it has been dropped.

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  72. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Why don’t we allow somebody to sell themselves into a serville state?

    Because of the inherent hypocrisy of such a position?

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  73. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Actually PG – off topic but I had to do a late night drive a few weeks ago and I caught a lengthy mayoral debate on RNZ. I don’t know much about Dunedin and the only person I recognised on the radio was Hilary Calvert who seems to be running for some reason. How come you weren’t on? Turned them down or not invited?

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  74. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (613) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Ok – so let’s leave aside that nobody ‘has’ to committ suicide. It’s a choice – and I think an unethical one on the basis that the deliberate taking of a human life is wrong, even your own.

    Wrong for what reason? In a general sense the reason may be fairly obvious. In the extreme circumstances contemplated by these discussions I think a more considered justification is required.

    Such radical concepts of personal autonomy are both utopian and contrary to human nature.

    I struggle to find much meaning in this statement, given the context of the discussion. Support for euthanasia is premised on the notion that individuals have the right to relieve themselves of extreme suffering due to a terminal illness. In my view morality is fundamentally about respect for the consciousness of others. Life for life’s sake does not necessarily respect someone’s consciousness where such a person can reasonably and rationally choose a quick death over an extended period of torture that tends to the same inevitable end.

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  75. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    That’s very Epicurean of you Weihana.

    Would you support amending employment law so that people can, with informed consent, choose to sell themselves in servillity?

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  76. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Cato at 10:46 am

    The reason is that there are limits to personal autonomy which becomes unethical when it infringes on human dignity.

    Loss of dignity is also very much on the minds of those facing a painful or cognitively debilitating death. So, are there limits to society’s control which becomes unethical when it infringes on human dignity?

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  77. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    Weihana#

    “…..Life for life’s sake does not necessarily respect someone’s consciousness where such a person can reasonably and rationally choose a quick death over an extended period of torture that tends to the same inevitable end…..”

    AND:

    “….In my view morality is fundamentally about respect for the consciousness of others….”

    really?

    Is it not TORTUREOUS to us children that mum chose death over more time with us OTHERS…..her doctor told us that she had about 4 whole weeks left?

    Go and get educated about pallitive care Weihana – nearly all people live very well up to about the last 4-5 days!

    But this is not about the aged is it?

    The aged are being rolled out by Street so that tetraplegics ect can kill themselves!

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  78. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (615) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 10:46 am

    The reason is that there are limits to personal autonomy which becomes unethical when it infringes on human dignity.

    That’s a fairly malleable standard. I would tend to find the wearing of a Justin Bieber t-shirt to be infringing on one’s self respect and dignity. I’m not sure that gives me the right to dictate to others on my personal preferences.

    Moreover, there is nothing undignified in avoiding human suffering. If you have a terminal illness, death is not a choice, it is inevitable. It is a mere question of timing designed to reduce human suffering. It is perfectly reasonable, rational and dignified to make such a choice.

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  79. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I agree and I think that all efforts should be made to ease the suffering of the dying and to accord them respect. However, I think the step of lethally intervening against their life is a greater affront to their dignity than their discomfort.

    “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s the most famous iteration of the inalienable rights of man but you find them repeated in varying forms throughout Enlightenment writings. What’s easy to miss, though, is what the word “inalienable” means – namely, that the rights cannot be given away by their possessor any more than they can be taken away.

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  80. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Memento mori, Weihana – death comes to us all. It is all a question of timing.

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  81. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Harriet (2,517) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Is it not TORTUREOUS to us children that mum chose death over more time with us OTHERS…..her doctor told us that she had about 4 whole weeks left?

    Your attitude is selfish in my view. You want time. She wants to avoid suffering. Time vs suffering. Seems to me suffering weighs far more heavily as an evil to be avoided compared to time as a good to be cherished.

    Go and get educated about pallitive care Weihana – nearly all people live very well up to about the last 4-5 days!

    I think that’s perhaps a matter of perspective, but in any case, what gives you the right to make a claim on someone such that they must suffer for 4-5 days for your sake?

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  82. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (618) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Memento mori, Weihana – death comes to us all. It is all a question of timing.

    Reductio ad absurdum. In close proximity to death I think it is quite rational and reasonable to view that extra time as being outweighed by the severity of the suffering.

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  83. Fletch (6,230 comments) says:

    Euthanasia has increased dramatically in the Netherlands, doubling in the last 10 years according to a new report.

    The number of Dutch people killed by medical euthanasia has more than doubled in the 10 years since legislation was changed to permit it, rising 13 per cent last year to 4,188.

    Voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide, where a doctor is present while a patient kills themselves, usually by drinking a strong barbiturate potion, has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002.

    Requests have risen steadily since 2003 when 1,626 people applied for medically administered euthanasia, in most cases by a lethal injection, or assisted suicide.
    As previously controversial “mercy killings” have become socially and medically acceptable, the number of cases, the vast majority of medical euthanasia, have more than doubled over the decade to 2012.

    One explanation for the steep rise of Dutch cases is the introduction last year of mobile euthanasia units allowing patients to be killed by voluntary lethal injection when family doctors refused.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/10330823/Number-of-Dutch-killed-by-euthanasia-rises-by-13-per-cent.html

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  84. Redbaiter (8,234 comments) says:

    “Memento mori, Weihana – death comes to us all.”

    Not to Elvis.

    Ask Bigot Bruv.

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  85. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (618) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 10:55 am

    That’s very Epicurean of you Weihana.

    That could be regarded as a fairly shallow characterization in the context of the suffering being contemplated.

    Would you support amending employment law so that people can, with informed consent, choose to sell themselves in servillity?

    I do not agree that such would be rational or reasonable, hence the difference in this case.

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  86. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (618) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I agree and I think that all efforts should be made to ease the suffering of the dying and to accord them respect. However, I think the step of lethally intervening against their life is a greater affront to their dignity than their discomfort.

    I am content to let people decide for themselves within a reasonably regulated framework guided by professional medical opinion and involving stringent checks and balances.

    “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s the most famous iteration of the inalienable rights of man but you find them repeated in varying forms throughout Enlightenment writings. What’s easy to miss, though, is what the word “inalienable” means – namely, that the rights cannot be given away by their possessor any more than they can be taken away.

    It is a generalization, not a scientific formula. Indeed you proffer a self-contradictory argument for you advocate taking away someone’s liberty (namely to take their own life) in order to uphold the sanctity of life. Why then can life not be taken away for the sake of one’s liberty or happiness?

    It is unwise to expect that broad principles will necessarily apply in life-boat cases and this topic is very much a life-boat case.

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  87. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Cato at 11:10 am

    I agree and I think that all efforts should be made to ease the suffering of the dying and to accord them respect. However, I think the step of lethally intervening against their life is a greater affront to their dignity than their discomfort.

    Discomfort? Come on Cato, we aren’t talking about a stone in their shoe. More important, it’s not just physical pain that can be an affront to their dignity – for example, people facing relatively rapid cognitive deterioration as part of their illness fear that much more than death itself.

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  88. Scott (1,760 comments) says:

    I am pleased that the bill has been withdrawn. It is amazing to me that in New Zealand we have huge pieces of groundbreaking legislation, gay marriage comes to mind here, that were not part of the party manifesto to be voted on by the electorate. If labour is keen to have euthanasia then they should make it a part of their manifesto going into the next election.

    If we get elected we will make sure that any old people that want to die will get killed! Let’s see how that goes down at election time?

    These private member’s bills that are snuck in by unelected list MPs, with no mandate from the electorate, with the connivance of the liberal media, and the support of the liberal elite in Wellington, of whom DPF is a prime example, are a an affront to democracy and the Parliamentary process. If labour or the Greens want to kill old people then they should want to put it in their party manifesto and face the electorate at election time.

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  89. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    “Reductio ad absurdum” I think I know what you are trying to say Weihana but on its face your post reads as if you are admitting to have committed a logical fallacy.

    As an aside, I don’t think epicureanism is a shallow philosophy, it’s just mischaracterised. In all sincerity it wasn’t an insult. If you look at epicurean attitudes towards suicide and voluntary euthanasia you will find they are quite nuanced and not unreasonable. However, it does speak to a certain set of priorities about how a society should be organised.

    But you’re inconsistent in your application of them. Voluntary slavery can and has made sense in the past. People regularly used to sell themselves into bondage (and until quite recently, indentured servitude) and it made economic sense for them to do so. In hard times, it ensured that you would have the means of survival because of the obligations masters had to their slaves.

    What would you say if I told you that some of my own ancestors came to this part of the world as indentured labourers – little better than slaves? It really was quite common until fairly recently. Do you know why, when people try to do an Irish accent they end up sounding Jamacian? Because there were so many Irish indentured servants in Jamacia that it “Irishised” the local tongue.

    And yet today, we are rightly repelled by such notions – and you would presumably never support such an arrangement. All I am asking is for the theoretical justification for that if we really are as completely sovereign over our own lives as you think.

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  90. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    Weihana#

    “….but in any case, what gives you the right to make a claim on someone such that they must suffer for 4-5 days for your sake?….”

    Wake up Weihana – you are no fucken different :

    The entire euthanasia debate is not about medicine but an emotion; suffering.

    If you kill the terminaly ill with 2 months to live, then next year the tetraplegic will say “why do I have to suffer for 12yrs?”

    The following year the wife who is disfigured and saddened because her ex threw acid at her then shot her 3 young daughters dead, will say “why do I have to suffer for 40yrs?”

    At the VERY BEST all Street has to OFFER the public square is ‘guidlines’ for doctors.

    And like the wall of silence that went up around abortion where abortion was extended to the third trimester, that same wall will be built around euthanasia and euthanasia will then be extended from the terminaly ill elderly all the way down to infinticide under the guise of ‘medicine’ ending in the legal suicide of just about anyone in between who can convince a liberal doctor that they are ‘suffering’.

    As they say, if you want to find out the truth, then just ask the Left “what happens next?” :cool:

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  91. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Let me just ask you this. The basis for allowing euthanasia is that “it’s a matter of free choice” and we shouldn’t intervene against freely made choices by competent adults. Somewhat inconsistently, we don’t proclaim that suicide is acceptable per se but instead justify voluntary euthanasia on the basis that it is to alleviate suffering.

    Where do we draw the line, though? Should it only be when death is near or should it be fore any illness that the sufferer believes to be intolerable? What about for mental anguish? Who are you to judge for a patient what is insufferable and what must be suffered? Do you think it’s possible for a civilised country, once it starts down this path, to eventually allow physician assisted euthanasia to alleviate the suffering of somebody whose malady is severe depression?

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  92. SGA (982 comments) says:

    @cato
    To whom are you addressing this question?

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  93. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    To anyone in favour of physician assisted euthanasia. If you grant the premises that people may request death to relieve them of incurable suffering, would a civilised country eventually allow euthanasia for depression or, say, anorexia?

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  94. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    LOL Weihana:

    How the hell is someone’s life more meaningful, say a tetraplegics life, compared with someone who has two months or two weeks to live?

    Who will actually get to decide what ‘suffering’ is? The Patient? Doctors? Street? Parliment? A public referendum?

    This bill will never be passed.

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  95. SGA (982 comments) says:

    @cato
    I don’t understand your question. It seems to imply that depression and anorexia are necessarily incurable.

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  96. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Well – to answer my own question. Euthanasia for mental health patients is quite commonly requested in European countries. And the request is rarely refused. There was quite a newsworthy example this year, actually, when a Belgian woman named Godelieva De Troyer was euthanised for her depression and the first her son heard about it was by getting an email the next day.

    Is suicide a good option for mental health sufferers? Why not? Two doctors certified that it was a free choice and that her suffering was intractible.

    The logic that underpins a culture of death and radical personal autonomy takes you to dark places.

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  97. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    Cato, everyone of us is dying, it is not possable to not accept that absolute biological truth.

    Maybe if we celebrated life – and death afterwards – then maybe, just maybe, no one would suffer needlessly.

    But then it’s easy for me to say as I’m Catholic.

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  98. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    And the reference to anorexia nervosa wasn’t a hypothetical either. See for example: http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20130127_00448215 (need to Google translate).

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  99. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    everyone of us is dying

    children, in general, are not dying.

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  100. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    In fact they are, in the sense that we are genetically programmed to die and, from the moment you are conceived, you are on a trajectory that will end in death.

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  101. Harriet (4,743 comments) says:

    Everyone, I have to go out. All the best for the weekend.

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  102. SGA (982 comments) says:

    @cato
    Now I follow you – we’d been discussing human dignity, and you’ve leapt to “slippery slopes”. I think that most would agree that the “slippery slope” is a major concern with an issue like euthanasia – and one reason I have reservations about it.

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  103. Lucia Maria (2,261 comments) says:

    I haven’t noticed anyone answer Cato’s question about whether or not a person should have the right to sell themselves into servitude. Too hard, maybe?

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  104. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Lucy, people are lining up daily to sell themselves into servitude. There is even a name for it: A mortgage.

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  105. SGA (982 comments) says:

    @Lucia
    Cato’s answer was – “The reason is that there are limits to personal autonomy which becomes unethical when it infringes on human dignity.”

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  106. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    Cato at 10:51 am

    Not invited, they selected who they thought people might vote for, totally undemocratic and unapologetic.

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  107. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,872 comments) says:

    My my, these so called progressives make me laugh.

    The last western administration to practice voluntary euthanasia was Nazi Germany.

    They shot or gassed the old, the disabled, the incoherent, the unemployable and the outspoken. Of course, it was all voluntary because it was for the economic good of the state.

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  108. Lucia Maria (2,261 comments) says:

    SGA,

    Thanks, saw that. Didn’t realise that is was the direct answer. I think it’s a bit wishy washy, personally.

    Kea,

    Good point. Not quite the same though, in that the bank isn’t telling me to do it’s washing and clean out it’s toilets. It just wants money every month, but doesn’t dictate how the work to earn the money is achieve.

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  109. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Actually, I’m not drawing a slippery slope argument – there is a difference and that has a specific meaning. I’m not saying, we shouldn’t do X because it will lead to Y. I’m saying that we shouldn’t do X or Y because both are wrong, though it’s easier to see why with reference to the latter which we should take as instructive about the former.

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  110. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (624) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    “Reductio ad absurdum” I think I know what you are trying to say Weihana but on its face your post reads as if you are admitting to have committed a logical fallacy.

    No, there is no logical fallacy. My argument is that someone may reasonably and rationally trade limited time, characterized by a high degree of suffering culminating in an inevitable death, for suicide. Observing that everyone dies eventually ignores the substance of my argument.

    But you’re inconsistent in your application of them. Voluntary slavery can and has made sense in the past. People regularly used to sell themselves into bondage (and until quite recently, indentured servitude) and it made economic sense for them to do so. In hard times, it ensured that you would have the means of survival because of the obligations masters had to their slaves.

    Sure, I accept this argument within the limits that society and circumstance placed on individuals of the time. It has no relevance in a modern context however. It is not rational for society to permit such circumstances to arise that would make such a calculation necessary or advantageous.

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  111. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Harriet (2,521) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    If you kill the terminaly ill with 2 months to live, then next year the tetraplegic will say “why do I have to suffer for 12yrs?”

    Actually I think such a person would have every reason to hope. Brain-machine interfaces are making significant improvements and will only get better with time. In any case, this is a slippery slope argument.

    The following year the wife who is disfigured and saddened because her ex threw acid at her then shot her 3 young daughters dead, will say “why do I have to suffer for 40yrs?”

    Does she require assistance to kill herself? I don’t see how her situation changes because of euthanasia.

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  112. SGA (982 comments) says:

    Cato at 12:58 pm
    If you grant the premises that people may request death to relieve them of incurable suffering, would a civilised country eventually allow euthanasia for depression or, say, anorexia?

    Cato at 1:46 pm
    Actually, I’m not drawing a slippery slope argument …

    Well, it sure looked that way :-)

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  113. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (625) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    The basis for allowing euthanasia is that “it’s a matter of free choice”

    No, the basis is that it is humane. It can be reasonable and rational to make that choice in an awful situation where there are no good options.

    Who are you to judge for a patient what is insufferable and what must be suffered?

    Who are you to judge that all suffering must be endured? You cannot avoid that a judgment must be made and that government will make a judgment on the law according to the perceived conscience of the people.

    Do you think it’s possible for a civilised country, once it starts down this path, to eventually allow physician assisted euthanasia to alleviate the suffering of somebody whose malady is severe depression?

    No, that’s an absurdity.

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  114. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (625) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Euthanasia for mental health patients is quite commonly requested in European countries. And the request is rarely refused.

    If so I stand corrected. Which countries? But even if so it does not follow that euthanasia leads to such. It’s a slippery slope argument.

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  115. Dazzaman (1,133 comments) says:

    Common sense prevails. Never surprised the arch leftist liberal Farrar is supportive of this sort of stuff though. National has not been a haven for the conservative for quite some time.

    Stupid mental dyke is Street.

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  116. kowtow (8,116 comments) says:

    cato mentioned Godelieva De Troyer. A Belgian case. So the suffering need not be fatal or physical.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323463704578496744106066214.html

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  117. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    It would be a slippery slope argument if I said: “Well, euthanasia for terminal cancer patients might be ok but it will soon lead to a wider application of the procedure for things I don’t agree with.” I am opposed to voluntary euthanasia in all circumstances – because I think it is an affront to human dignity that outweighs any putative benefits. I think that the fact the euthanasia is routinely performed on the basis of mental health issues is simply more viscerally illustrative of the principles that apply in all cases. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s like the difference between opposing civil unions per se, and opposing them as the next marginal step on the way to SSM. Do you see the difference?

    Weihana – you still don’t understand re ad absurdum – not that it really matters though because it’s mostly semantic. You are saying I was making an ad absurdum attack – which I kind of was. However, that’s a valid form of argumentation. Instead of saying: “ad absurdum” the onus is on you to say: “my argument is not ad absurdum because …” But as I said, it doesn’t really matter.

    As for evidence of euthanasia being performed for mental health reasons in Europe, it doesn’t take much googling to work out the legality of mental health as a justification for euthanasia. To avoid this becoming a slippery slope argument, bear in mind that my point is that we obviously recoil from the idea – but how do you articulate the grounds for that consistently with a pro-euthanasia argument that doesn’t boil down to paternalism?

    In other words, you aren’t willing to grant somebody relief because they want it (or you’d grant it to a depressive). But you are willing to grant it to a late stage cancer patient who wants it, because you’re comfortable with that. Do you see how in that scenario it’s your preferences that are governing the situation – not the patients?

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  118. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (626) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I am opposed to voluntary euthanasia in all circumstances…

    Indeed, in which case there is no point in your asking where this might lead.

    I think that the fact the euthanasia is routinely performed on the basis of mental health issues is simply more viscerally illustrative of the principles that apply in all cases.

    Scare-mongering in other words. :)

    Weihana – you still don’t understand re ad absurdum…

    Yes I understand it. Yes it’s a legitimate form of argument (I use it all the time). But in this case it ignores the substance of what I am proposing, namely that in such dire circumstances values must be weighed and traded off to serve the best interests of the individual. For a person dying of a terminal illness, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are luxuries that may be difficult or impossible to afford.

    …but how do you articulate the grounds for that consistently with a pro-euthanasia argument that doesn’t boil down to paternalism?

    If paternalism is a failing of what I propose, it is no less a failing of your own position.

    I find the demand for consistency to be expecting just a bit too much. You are approaching a life-boat case with ideology. They call them life-boat cases for a reason.

    Do you see how in that scenario it’s your preferences that are governing the situation – not the patients?

    The limits of all conduct is governed by the law. I would not condone any death unless the individual concerned wished it. To say it is my preferences that govern the situation is specious as much as it were to say that I prefer someone to get drunk simply because I believe it should be permitted. I believe it’s reasonable for a person to want the freedom to get drunk. This is a far cry from being their governor and ordering them to.

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  119. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    You misunderstand me. Patient A suffers intractably from a tumour wishes to die. You have him killed. Patient B suffers intractably from anorexia and wishes to die. You think she should live on so you refuse her request. She goes to the Netherlands where they are a bit more consistent and they kill her.

    Do I think the Dutch are superior here? No. You made the right decision in respect of the second patient. But why were you willing to kill the other man? Because you agreed that his life was not worth living. You put a price on one man’s life but not another’s – based on an arbitrary distinction you hold. You are the one who has made the controlling judgement – on the basis of your subjective values – not their informed requests. That’s paternalistic.

    Whearas I wouldn’t classify my position as paternalism. I am claiming that there is a higher interest at stake that overrides their wishes and which is debased by the deliberate taking of human life.

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  120. ChardonnayGuy (1,195 comments) says:

    At present, euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Netherlands, while assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Oregon, Washington state, Montana and Vermont in the United States. Debates over its decriminalisation are currently proceeding in Canada. In Oregon, there is a certified regulatory procedure to go through, as there is in the Netherlands and Belgium. In the Netherlands and Belgium, organised medical groups supported the decriminalisation of euthanasia, while the Oregon Medical Association was neutral in that specific US state context. The Canadian Medical Association has declared its neutrality in the Canadian context as well. The governing Harper administration is opposed to any such decriminalisation, but the Liberals aren’t. The New Democrat Party (akin to Labour) appears split.

    In terms of opposition, it is that of organised medical professionals that is more relevant and influential than religious social conservatives in this context. In political debates where medical groups are either supportive or have declared neutrality, decriminalisation campaigns have succeeded. In Massachusetts, there was a referendum on the subject, but disability rights are strongly antagonistic toward assisted suicide and managed to defeat the measure.

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  121. Reid (16,179 comments) says:

    I am opposed to voluntary euthanasia in all circumstances – because I think it is an affront to human dignity that outweighs any putative benefits.

    Why do you think it is an affront to human dignity Cato?

    Would you say the same thing about no-resuc requests?

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  122. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Generally no. I think there is a qualitative difference between a lethal intervention and extraordinary (or “disproportionate”) measures to preserve a life.

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  123. SGA (982 comments) says:

    @cato
    So you draw a distinction between what’s called, I believe, “passive” and “active” euthanasia? In the case of “passive” euthanasia, the measures that aren’t applied are not that “extraordinary” in themselves; it’s more that there is no point “buying” a few more hours or days.

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  124. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I sense that I am being drawn into a trap here. But yeah, if you want an honest answer.

    Not that anyone is overly interested in my pontificating at length about where I draw the line but here goes. I think that what is an extraordinary measure is matter for private judgment and that individuals can in good faith disagree as long as the focus is on the nature of the treatment itself and not the person. You have to look at matters like medical risk, the potential outcomes of the treatment and its effects on the family, the pain and (yes) the expense of the treatment. If the benefits are so minimal as to render those things vain and useless, then I would suggest that the treatment can be ethically discontinued.

    A distinction without a difference? Well, I guess it’s a bit like the difference between artificial contraception and NFP.

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  125. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (627) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Patient B suffers intractably from anorexia…

    Is it “intractable”? My understanding is that it’s primarily a mental disorder. One can hardly put much stock in the wishes of someone who is mentally disturbed. To compare it to terminal cancer or something similar seems to ignore the great disparity between the afflictions. You seem to consider that we must suspend all judgment and that one cannot weigh the circumstances of different situations to judge what is reasonable. If I suggest someone with terminal cancer might reasonably request an early death you retort with “what about the guy who stubbed his toe?”.

    Because you agreed that his life was not worth living. You put a price on one man’s life but not another’s – based on an arbitrary distinction you hold.

    The different nature of different afflictions are not arbitrary considerations.

    You are the one who has made the controlling judgement

    Rubbish. The individual makes the controlling judgment, and only if their judgment can be regarded as sound.

    …on the basis of your subjective values – not their informed requests.

    Just because you do not like their choice does not make it uninformed.

    Whearas I wouldn’t classify my position as paternalism.

    You can classify it however you wish, but the fact remains you are replacing their judgment with your own. As would I in ridiculous circumstances such as “I have depression”, but I think the boundaries should be more accommodating to extreme situations where prolonging life amounts to little more than torture.

    … I am claiming that there is a higher interest at stake…

    Of course you are… though I suspect such “higher interests” do not include the interests of those enduring extreme and pointless pain who might not care for such philosophical musings.

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  126. SGA (982 comments) says:

    @cato
    No, your senses are wrong (ask for a refund on the spiderman suit :-) ). No trap intended. I was curious, and also, just so you know, in some circumstances the treatment that is withdrawn isn’t that dramatic.

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  127. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Calm down Weihana – you’re not reading straight.

    It is fairly routine in Europe for those with mental disorders to be adjudged capable to request euthanasia. Clearly, the medical professionals disagree with you. You were completely incredulous about this and in fact said it would be an absurdity. And yet – it happens all the time. It would be nice of you to acknowledge that your naivety was misplaced. Who are you, Fonzie? “I was wr- wr- wr- wr- wrong.”

    If you set yourself up as the arbiter of when somebodies suffering and anguish justifies killing them, then I’m sorry, you have assumed the decision making role. That’s not the case in Belgium and Holland, of course, where arguably it is more patient centred given their logical consistency.

    And to that point, I’m not saying that the patient lacks informed consent. I’m saying that there consent (which we can assume is informed) is not what determines whether the live or die. It’s whether you agree that their particular malady is of a nature that justifies killing them. You deny it to them and not to others.

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  128. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    @SGA – thankfully I have never yet had to be in that situation.

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  129. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Right that’s it for me. Got to stop relapsing into commenting on Kiwiblog. It’s a real productivity killer.

    Take the last word Weihana…

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  130. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cato (632) Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Calm down Weihana – you’re not reading straight.

    It is fairly routine in Europe for those with mental disorders to be adjudged capable to request euthanasia. Clearly, the medical professionals disagree with you. You were completely incredulous about this and in fact said it would be an absurdity. And yet – it happens all the time. It would be nice of you to acknowledge that your naivety was misplaced. Who are you, Fonzie? “I was wr- wr- wr- wr- wrong.”

    Sure, as I said before, if that is the case I stand corrected. A quick Google reveals a couple cases I’m uneasy about, though my overall impression is that you are stretching it when you refer to it being “fairly routine”. For instance the vast majority of cases in Belgium are for terminal cancer.

    If you set yourself up as the arbiter of when somebodies suffering and anguish justifies killing them, then I’m sorry, you have assumed the decision making role.

    You’re being disingenuous. I am giving my opinion as to when it is reasonable for someone to exercise their own judgment over their life. Allowing someone to make their own decision is not “assuming the decision making role”. That is what you are doing, for “higher interests”. I would agree I am doing that to an extent too as I don’t think a mentally ill person can make a decision on their own life. Though I’m not sure how you can offer that as a criticism of me and excuse yourself on the pretense of “higher interests”.

    And to that point, I’m not saying that the patient lacks informed consent. I’m saying that there consent (which we can assume is informed) is not what determines whether the live or die. It’s whether you agree that their particular malady is of a nature that justifies killing them.

    Ridiculous sophistry. That’s like saying that the existence of liquor stores determines whether I get drunk or not. I’m supporting a liberty Cato, not a decision. Big distinction.

    Got to stop relapsing into commenting on Kiwiblog. It’s a real productivity killer.

    Amen brother! :)

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  131. Griff (7,214 comments) says:

    There is only one way to look at euthanasia.

    One has the moral right to end ones own life.

    If one can not physically suicide it should be legal for one to nominate an agent.

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  132. Steve (North Shore) (4,538 comments) says:

    Street drops the Bill?
    She should drop herself into Cook Straight. Westlake Girls will remember her as a mind bender

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