July 2, 2022

Euthanasia on the boil in New Zealand

Two cases of euthanasia in New Zealand have been used to push the legalisation agenda, with politicians agitating for legal change. Each has involved men who helped terminally ill family members to commit suicide.

Two cases of euthanasia in New Zealand have been used to push the legalisation agenda, with politicians agitating for legal change. Each has involved men who helped terminally ill family members to commit suicide.

Opposition politician Maryan Street is pushing legislation which would allow a person to assist a suicide without facing criminal charges. Parliament debated the issue last in 2003, and struck down a Death with Dignity bill with a 60-57 vote. Sean Davison, 50, was placed under house arrest for five months for helping his 85-year-old cancer-afflicted mother to kill herself in 2006. “I broke the law, but it’s a bad law and now is the time to change it,” said Davison, who gave her the lethal dose of morphine she had begged for after unsuccessfully trying to starve herself to death. Mr Davison is a lecturer at University of Western Cape in South Africa. Now back home, he has vowed to campaign for assisted suicide there.

“I have done my sentence,” he told the press,  “but I want to emphasise that I didn’t commit a crime. It’s not a crime to help someone who is terminally ill to die with dignity. I always told the truth and I’m not ashamed of assisting my mother die. She would have been horrified at my sentencing. So, in a sense, I was always free in my mind.”

Evans Mott, 61, is currently awaiting trial in Auckland on a charge of aiding and abetting his wife’s suicide in December, who suffered from severe multiple sclerosis. ~ Herald Sun, Apr 30; Independent Online, May 4

Euthanasia on the boil in New Zealand
Jared Yee
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assisted suicide
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New Zealand
South Africa
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