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Euthanasia and religious convictions

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Once again I find myself having to rebut Ken Orr’s statements in his letter, June 24, point by point.

Bearing in mind that palliative care cannot relieve pain in about 6 percent of cases, to say that allowing a person to avoid such suffering is a “violation of human rights” is one of the most bizarre inversions of logic I have ever come across — but it is fully explicable in terms of the conservative religious view that one’s life is not one’s own and that only God can decide when it should end. It seems that Ken just doesn’t understand the concept of human “rights” when they come into conflict with those of a deity in whom the majority do not believe.

I would suggest that “obligation to endure” would be closer to the Catholic view of death and suffering.

“The NZ Medical Association is not motivated by concealed religious convictions” is another nonsensical statement. The NZMA is an association comprising individuals who, believe it or not, vary in their views on euthanasia as they do on every other topic from smacking of recalcitrant children to inbreeding in pedigree dogs. The official stance of the NZMA is formulated by a small number of members, the religious views of whom we are not told, so Ken cannot make any statement about their beliefs, religious or otherwise. However, the fact that the NZMA reportedly balloted its membership but did not release the results suggests that they would not justify the official position on assisted dying, leading one to suspect the likelihood of a religious motive.

“Legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide, even in limited circumstances, would contribute to normalising suicide across society, including among youth. They would send the message that suicide is sometimes an appropriate response to coping with suffering”........

© The Gisborne Herald