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July 29, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Rostra’s Hot Takes: Euthanasia

 

 

CW: Suicide, Death

Hot Takes is a section where, every two weeks, Rostra (PolSoc’s very own publication) sends out a questions to the masses for their takes on them. Rostra gives us three to publish and keeps the rest for their own website.

This week, the question was, “Is the End of Life Choice Bill the right reform for euthanasia laws in New Zealand?”

Keep an eye out for Rostra’s fortnightly Hot Take question on the PolSoc Facebook page. If you’re interested in writing for Rostra, contact them through rostra@vuwpolsoc.com 

 

I’m Pro Death – Tanith Wilson

The only true inalienable right humans have in the context of infinity is death; and the right to answer the existential question posed by absurdist philosopher Albert Camus—“Shall I have a cup of coffee or kill myself today”

In 24 years of living, I’ve seen every member of my immediate family die, some by their own hand, some by accident, or by disease—some in my arms. To save a human life is a contradiction of terms, they may live a life that is subjectively long, but there is no true point to life. Even if there was—could we comprehend it?

There’s a little-known story of an old kuia that was a companion of the prophet Te Kooti: She bore the moko kauae, was approximately 125 years old and in her last days in incredible pain. She asked her son to help her end her life because she did not have the capacity—so he did. It haunted his conscience, but the greatest mercy was to end her suffering.

Many get killed fighting for illusory ideals every day. If it’s true that life is a death sentence, then only the individual themselves should be fit to appoint themselves the arbiters of their fate.

 

The Dangers of the End of Life Choice Bill – Andrew Iupati

It is important that I first define what the term ‘euthanasia’ is, because I have noticed that some people have misconceptions of what that term means:

Euthanasia is not the withdrawal of life support and medicine. It is not an increase in morphine or some other pain relief medicine. Euthanasia is a lethal injection that terminates a patient instantly.

The assumption of this Bill is that the safeguards will be adequate and prevent mistakes being made. I believe the safeguards in the Bill are ambiguous and open to interpretation. Especially eligibility. A patient must have a “grievous and irremediable medical condition”. There are many medical conditions where this could apply, including people with quadriplegia, dyslexia, epilepsy—even asthma could be considered “grievous and irremediable”. Another clause states that a patient is in irreversible decline. This clause could also be applied to a variety of cases including people with multiple sclerosis. Implications of this ambiguous criteria could be dangerous as it could include those in the disabled sector. 

This debate is far from over. There are many complex issues. Here, I can emphasise only the ambiguity of the safeguards. This bill could include those in the disabled sector who are most vulnerable. 

 

It’s Euthanasia Time, Bois – Jackson Graham

Opposition to the euthanasia bill is almost entirely boomer hysteria. After creating this global hellscape we all live in, they’re now trying to tell us we can’t even choose when we die. The End Of Life Choice Bill is vital in giving people the opportunity to take control of their terminal illness, and choose how to go (on their own terms). We actually already have euthanasia in this country, but it’s an unregulated industry of doctors illegally administering lethal amounts of drugs to end suffering, or tired patients refusing treatment because they’ve decided the never-ending fight wasn’t worth it anymore. I, for one, don’t want people to have to die in the shadows, or for doctors to face imprisonment for wanting to help the sick and dying. I believe we should be empowering people to make their own decisions, and giving those who want it the option to go out in a safe, regulated environment. So when it comes to the End Of Life Choice Bill, don’t listen to the arguments of annoying fundamentalists, listen to the thousands of New Zealanders who want to have that choice.

 

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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