14 Sep 2016

NZ Medical Association warns against euthanasia

8:45 pm on 14 September 2016

Voluntary euthanasia would be fraught with problems and New Zealand doesn't need it, doctors have told a select committee.

The New Zealand Medical Association made the comments at the second day of the Health Select Committee's hearings.

The association said it backed patient autonomy, but sizeable complexities were involved in determining whether patients had made rational, fully informed decisions of their own free will.

It also said diagnoses could be incorrect, but there'd be no scope for a rethink once someone was dead.

An advocacy group, Not Dead Yet, said people with disabilities suffered from negative attitudes, and voluntary euthanasia would add to that.

The Care Alliance said it would also lead young people to think suicide was an acceptable response to suffering, which was wrong.

The Morgan Foundation and the Humanist Society said people should have the choice.

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