Sunday September 24, 2017   Last updated 00:57AM

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Will the Euthanasia Bill be used against Maori and Pacific Islanders?

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Will the Euthanasia Bill be used against Maori and Pacific Islanders?

Labour Party MP, Louisa Wall has tabled a draft Bill on Euthanasia as a Parliamentary committee look into the issue.

I have grave misgivings.

I'm less concerned with the rights of those who want to die as I am with the rights of those who feel pushed into dying.

My concern is that a future Public Health system groaning under the weight of huge numbers of sick people wouldn't start eyeing up euthanasia as a cost cutting measure.

Does that sound too grim and negative?


But consider what happened to New Zealand back in the 1990s when Jenny Shipley was the Minister of Health. She created the Core Health Services Committee who were tasked with creating new cost cutting measures that could help reduce the Health budgets. What was incredibly controversial, and carried out secretly behind the scenes was that the Core Health Services Committee was drawing up thresholds that would eliminate patients from seeking life saving care because of the cost.

The list that would disqualify a person from life saving treatments as set by the Core Health Services Committee were these...

* to be blind

* to have an intellectual disability

* had a history of mental illness

* exhibited or expressed anti-social behaviour

* had a history of imprisonment

* had an unrelated health condition that may cause complications

* were over the age of 65-years…

This outrageous attempt to save money by ending lives was exposed by Journalist Selwyn Manning and once the odiousness of this proposal was made public, it quickly shut down.

If euthanasia is legally allowed in this country, I have little doubt that those same cost cutting forces within the State won't see it as an excellent opportunity to save health dollars and pressure patients into viewing euthanasia as an obligation.

Maori and Pacific Islanders already find barriers to health care, who will be their voice when the health accountants come knocking at their sick beds?



Martyn Bradbury

Editor -

Waatea 5th Estate

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