A coroner is calling for Parliament to make up its mind about euthanasia after an elderly woman chose to suffocate herself with a handmade contraption in her Lower Hutt home.
Widow Edna Gluyas, 85, waited for her family to leave from a visit and lay down in her bed for a final time, alone, before setting in motion the process that would kill her on August 3, 2011
What an awful way to be forced to go, because there was no legal option for ending her life.
Less than two hours later, her daughter returned to find her dead by what Wellington Regional Coroner Ian Smith has determined “euthanasia by suffocation”.
In his report, Smith calls for Parliament to confront the issue of euthanasia – a topic that has long been dodged.
“Once again this death raises the vexed issue of euthanasia and, as I have recorded in past cases, this process simply will not go away, and it will be necessary for Parliament to address this matter yet again.”
Three weeks ago, Labour MP Maryan Street withdrew her End of Life Choice Bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia, amid fears that it would become a political football during election year.
Street withdrew it because her caucus bullied her into doing so. They just didn’t want to be associated with a controversial election in election year. So instead people like Edna Gluyas will have to continue to kill themselves with no opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones, in order to escape from their chronic pain.