New Conservative is opposed to euthanasia killing in New Zealand. Since the passing of the End of Life Choice Act in 2019 and its implementation in November 2021, over 300 people had been killed by a doctor or assisted to suicide (up until the end of the last quarter of 2022). 

New Conservative believe that the Parliamentary Select Committee considering this law ignored the wishes of the vast majority of those who made submissions and who were opposed to the law change. We also believe that the MPs who voted on this bill, and the majority of New Zealanders who voted for it in the 2020 referendum, were not adequately aware of the implications of legalising euthanasia. 

New Conservative is concerned that the author of the End of Life Choice Act, David Seymour, is now pushing amendments to further liberalise the law. A review of the Act is due in 2024. Seymour, who wanted these provisions in the original act, proposes the following changes:

  • Remove the requirement that the patient has a terminal illness and has no more than six months to live.  
  • Allow the requirement that the patient has a grievous and irremediable medical condition.
  • Allow that doctors may kill their patients if permission is given in an advanced directive, for those who “have a grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual.” 

New Conservative is greatly concerned about the subjective nature of the word “intolerable” in the third bullet point. 

Already we are starting to see the spectre of euthanasia creep. New Conservative is concerned that New Zealand will go the way of other jurisdictions such as The Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada, in rapidly expanding euthanasia grounds to include those with conditions such as mental illness, relatively minor medical conditions, and the killing of children who are deemed by others to be better off dead.

We have good cause to be concerned with the increasing number of patients being killed in public hospitals, aged care facilities, and hospices.

With rates of elder abuse increasing in New Zealand and with too few safeguards in place within the current legislation, we believe that there are insufficient protections in place to prevent the elderly and sick from being pressured into ending their own lives. 

End of Life care has been called a poor relative of the health system. Government funding for hospice fell in relative terms between 2021 and 2022.  In 2021, hospices provided care to nearly 20,000 patients and their families, yet the hospices needed to finance much of that themselves.

Hospice NZ has warned that if the government does not increase funding it will become necessary to reduce the caring services that New Zealanders receive at the end of their lives. 

New Conservative opposes killing by euthanasia and if elected will work hard to ensure adequate funding is provided for end-of-life care and for our hospices. 

New Conservative is totally opposed to doctors killing their patients or assisting in their suicide. In jurisdictions where euthanasia has been introduced, there have been rapid increases in the numbers being killed in this way. For example in Canada based on projections from the mid-2022 numbers,  there is expected to be a 35% increase in euthanasia deaths from the 10,064 recorded in 2021 to the final 2022 statistic.

Recently Ministry of Health officials attended the Funeral Directors AGM and made a presentation encouraging funeral homes to provide facilities to enable doctors to kill their patients with a lethal injection to assist in their suicide. Just one more example of euthanasia creep.

New Conservative's policy is to protect innocent human life from conception until natural death, and if elected we will work to ensure care not killing as the solution for end-of-life care.

Chris O’Brien

Spokesman for Life

New Conservative