Thursday, 10 September 2015
Press Release: Euthanasia Free NZ
Assisted suicide legislation contradicts suicide prevention
Euthanasia-Free NZ supports World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) and welcomes the plans by District Health Boards to improve the ways they prevent and respond to suicide.
New Zealand’s high suicide rate, especially among young people, Maori and the elderly, is of grave concern. In addition, the suicide rate in rural Waikato has tripled and some expect the number of suicides in farming communities to increase even further this year.
Euthanasia-Free NZ agrees with Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman that “reducing suicide rates requires coordinated action at a national and local level”. Such coordinated action includes upholding the current legislation that prohibits the encouragement and facilitation of suicide.
Legalising “assisted dying” or “end of life choice” (euphemisms for assisted suicide), would send conflicting messages about suicide: that some suicides are to be prevented and others are to be assisted. Arguments for legal “assisted dying” affirm assisted suicide as an acceptable solution to unbearable life-problems. But surely every suicide, whether assisted or lone, is the outcome of perceived unbearable suffering by a person? So what would be the point of encouraging one and discouraging the other?