One of New Conservative’s core principles is a commitment to the sanctity of life. We believe human life is sacred, from conception to natural death. These principles are not held by the ruling Labour/Greens coalition; neither are they held by National or Act.

New Conservative opposes the recent changes to both our abortion and euthanasia laws and we stand firmly against all intentional attacks on innocent human life. The majority of MPs in parliament have supported laws that attack human life at both ends of the spectrum. National’s Christopher Luxon has made it clear that, if his party gets to govern, he does not intend to make any changes to our abortion or euthanasia laws. Act’s David Seymour is the author and promoter of the 2019 End of Life Choice Act. Seymour was forced to accept stricter grounds of eligibility than he wanted, to ensure his euthanasia bill got through Parliament.

Between 7th November 2021 when the Act came into force and 30th June 2022, 146 people have been legally killed in New Zealand.

Now that Euthanasia has been legalised in New Zealand, New Conservative is concerned that our country will follow the trend seen in other countries which has let euthanasia out of the box. In these countries we see an ever-increasing number of people being euthanised and continual expansion of the grounds under which it is permitted.

The Canadian Euthanasia statistics for 2021, for example, reveal that over 10,000 persons were euthanised in that country, representing nearly 3.5% of all deaths. Of these at least 1740 were euthanised citing reasons including loneliness and isolation.

To those who would dismiss concerns about euthanasia contagion, we point out that while euthanasia started off in countries like the Netherlands strictly for terminal conditions, we now see those with dementia being euthanised, and even those with mental health issues. Babies are being euthanised, and a recent push by their health minister called for euthanasia to be made available for children under 12 years old. This of course all paves the way for euthanasia to move from voluntary to non-voluntary.

New Conservative believes that the passing of the End of Life Choice Act 2019, marked a very ominous breach in our country’s long standing opposition to doctors killing their patients, as exemplified by their swearing the Hippocratic Oath. Our medical profession, until recently, has followed a tradition of honouring a commitment to the principle of “First do no harm.”

Where does the push for ever widening grounds of eligibility end? With our health system already under great pressure, the temptation to accede to demands for wider accessibility is a real possibility, as some politicians look for ways to cut health spending. There is a glaring discrepancy in the real problems our hospices face with insufficient government funding, and the up to $3000 fees that may be claimed for killing a patient.

New Conservative believes euthanasia will remain a serious threat to the terminally ill and seriously disabled, unless the Abortion Legislation Act and the End of Life Choice Act are challenged. We believe action needs to be taken to increase public funding for our underfunded hospices and for better end-of-life care.

New Conservative remains committed to pursuing policies which both uphold the sanctity of life and increase funding for palliative care.

Chris O’Brien
New Conservative Spokesperson for Life