End of Life Choice Bill - 2018

My 5 minutes oral submission before the Parliamentary Justice Committee comprising of MP for Hutt South Chris Bishop,  Rebecca Davies secretary to the Parliamentary Justice Committee and local MP Hareta Hipango.

It was in relation to David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill - 2018

Tuesday 28th August 2018

11.00 a.m. 11.30 a.m.

Dickens Room,

Kingsgate Hotel,

379 Victoria Avenue

Whanganui

Susan E. Seconi

Whanganui

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There are 60,000 New Zealanders with what the Bill says suffer from irremediable medical conditions i.e. people with neurological disorders i.e. Alzheimer's.

My mother was diagnosed with multi infarct dementia in 1995. 

For a decade I watched this fiercely independent self donating woman turn into frail needy individual.  Like all those who come under this category, she never asked for this most feared disease. Her care throughout was beautiful until she died naturally.  Life was not taken from her. 

I recall once being asked by her nurse to sponge her.  I had never been so intimate with her physical body before.  The silky soft skin as I washed  her face.  Her hands I remember as a kid reaching into the toilet to retrieve my koala bear when I was vomiting from tonsillitis.  The tummy that housed six children and the breasts that were never sucked and how she loved kicking off her shoes and going bare foot. 

This Bill dangerously exposes those in our communities with Alzheimer's particularly.  They are vulnerable members of our society and we, as able bodied human beings, step up and look out for them 

My mother had Alzheimer's.  This didn't - and doesn't turn others into cauliflowers to be cut at the stem, or poodles to be put down.  Underneath they are human beings -  our loved ones.

Dangerous  deception sits around these people in this Bill.  

The Bill proposes to give them with  an option - to decide to have their life taken from them or not.

If my mother was still alive today and in the time line of full blown Alzheimer's  when she didn't know who I was, this is my question to you:-

  • how came the law of this land withdraw a jury summons because she has Alzheimer's,  and how came the law deem her unfit to drive on our roads because she has Alzheimer's  yet this legislation is asking her to decide to die by lethal injection or not.

And according to the Bill - how can mum and those others with Alzheimers exercise a conscientious objection when they have no idea of what time of the day it is. - and further - to explain to them that this lethal injection is irreversible!

And it gets more ridiculous:-  On 28th March 2017, the Whanganui River gained legal status of a person.  It has its own legal personality said Chris Finlayson at the time.  What if this legal identity developed an irremediable medical condition? 

Would we give the river the choice to inject it with a lethal injection or not.  No we protect our river - our environment- guarding it from pollution to remain a treasured natural resource.

We rightly jump in defence of our Rhine of the Pacific, yet we question human beings whether they should be killed when they get sick.

As it stands, under the pretext of giving those the power of choice to those with irremediable medical conditions, it's really giving the power of choice to the healthy person.  The Bill helps the healthy person avoid the long-haul in waiting for natural death to occur when it's no-where to be seen. The healthy person doesn't have to powerlessly stand by for natural death to occur.

Let's make New Zealand a culture a life  and not be tempted to match our Laws to those of other countries where euthanasia has been decriminalized .

No social problems are fixed by killing-off those of little account.

Not to kill another protects life.  It must remain a crime.

I reject the Bill.