A good example of why the law should change

The Herald reports:

A terminally ill Wellington man who has a year to live says he will end his life before cancer does – and he wants to do so legally.

Joseph Claessen, from Upper Hutt, has an aggressive form of prostate cancer and is expected to die within 12 months.

“There is no doubt about it. I will kill myself if the law doesn’t change by that time,” he said.

“I don’t think I will do it here at home. Mostly likely I will look for a nice spot in nature, have a nice cigar, have a whiskey, and then after that do it.”

The 68 year-old appeared before a select committee at Parliament yesterday and pleaded for a law change.

Speaking to the committee, he said he wanted the right to choose when his pain and suffering became too great. …

Under the existing law, he said he was likely to have a shorter life because he would kill himself while he was still physically capable.

“This inaction [by Government] will shorten my life. It will put a lot of stress, discomfort and trauma to my family.”

This is the sad reality. The current law incentivises people to kill themselves earlier than otherwise would be the case.

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