Bishops’ Warning Ignored by Media – Disservice to Community

Press Release – Right To Life New Zealand Inc

The Catholic Bishops Conference warns New Zealand society of the great danger posed by legislation that would allow for doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide. This warning was given in a media release titled “Euthanasia dangerous …26 October 2011

Bishops’ Warning Ignored by Media – A Disservice to the Community

The Catholic Bishops Conference warns New Zealand society of the great danger posed by legislation that would allow for doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide. This warning was given in a media release titled “Euthanasia dangerous threat to society” made on 19 October 2011. Right to Life applauds the Catholic Bishops for this timely warning.

It is disappointing that the media have chosen to completely ignore this warning. The Bishops are the spiritual leaders of more than 500,000 baptised Catholics in New Zealand who comprise fifteen per cent of the population of this country. The Bishops have a responsibility to Christ the founder of the Catholic Church and to the community it serves, to uphold the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death, to uphold human rights and to warn society of serious threats to the dignity of man. The media, by choosing to ignore the Bishop’s warning are doing a great disservice to the community. The community has a right to receive warnings from our spiritual leaders of serious threats to the lives of the elderly, the sick and the terminally ill. Why is the media censoring and withholding important information from the Bishops for the community?

The threat outlined by the Bishops is very real. There is a concerted move being made internationally to introduce legislation to provide for doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide. The New Zealand Parliament in 1995 and again in 2003 dealt with private member’s bills that sought to provide for euthanasia, both were defeated at their first reading, the later bill by 60 to 57.

The American statesman, Thomas Jefferson, stated that the care of human life and happiness and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate objective of good government. It is not the prerogative of good government to provide for the killing of the ill or elderly.

The Prime minister who recently stated publicly that he would support a private members’ Euthanasia Bill should be aware that we have excellent palliative care for the terminally ill and that the New Zealand Medical Association is totally opposed to legislation that would allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide. The Prime Minister, in the interest of the community, should make a public retraction of his support for a Euthanasia bill.

Euthanasia is a threat to the elderly and the ill. In Holland in 2009, 2636 patients were put to death by their doctor. In addition there were 400 deaths where the doctor assisted in the death of the patient and 550 deaths where the doctor killed the patient without explicit consent or request. Should euthanasia legislation be passed by our Parliament, many elderly persons who did not want to be killed by their doctor will lose their lives without their consent and without their knowledge. The right to die will quickly become the duty to die. Right to Life has compassion for those who are suffering but is committed to the fundamental belief that the intentional killing of another person is always wrong.

ENDS

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