New Conservative Media Release on Euthanasia and End of Life Choice Act

Seymour’s Euthanasia Nightmare 

New Conservative is saddened that there have already been many victims of the End of Life Choice Act, and maintains serious concerns about the intentions of its author, Act leader David Seymour, to greatly expand the euthanasia regime.

The Ministry of Health’s Assisted Dying Service reported that  214 New Zealanders were killed in the first 12 months after the Act came into force in November 2021 after a national referendum and is up for review this year. As predicted, now that the door legalising euthanasia is open, there is a clear push for normalisation and to expand the criteria for eligibility.

Seymour has expressed his intention to push for the removal of the current requirement that restricts euthanasia eligibility to those facing a terminal illness, who have been diagnosed as having no more than six months to live. He also wants to remove competency requirements, allowing doctors to kill those under their care,  based on an advanced directive. This is dangerous because decisions made about wanting to die when made when a person is well, often change when that person is faced with a life-shortening illness. Of equal concern is his intention to push for eligibility for the disabled to undergo euthanasia. 

New Conservative does not believe that voters were fully informed about the negative implications of legalising euthanasia leading up to the referendum and is now alarmed both by Seymour's plans to broaden the criteria of those eligible for death by doctor and by media glamourisation of the law in recent months. 

New Conservative strongly oppose the current legislation and intend to seek its repeal if elected in the 2023 general election. Instead of normalisation of the sick and elderly being killed by their doctors, New Conservative will work to ensure that end-of-life care is well funded and that hospices are provided with sufficient resources and support so that no New Zealanders need die without having the best possible palliative care.

Successive governments have underfunded the hospice movement and the result has been that this vital component of our health system has been in crisis for some time.

In conclusion, New Conservative opposes the expansion of euthanasia, calls for repeal of the End of Life Choice Act and warns the public to be vigilant and informed about the dangerous consequences of this law. We encourage New Zealanders to vote only for those who oppose the killing of the vulnerable.

Chris O’Brien

Life Issues spokesperson