Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:
A bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia has been withdrawn amid fears it would become a political football during election year.
Labour MP Maryan Street 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!