It is interesting to note Roger Gilbride toured our country in 2013 making people aware of the dangers associated in legalizing euthanasia. His efforts paid dividends, the bill failed. Well done Roger, we congratulate you on your courage and determination and are thrilled to witness your ordination to the Catholic Priesthood some seven years later.
Old Hairy Legs never gives up, once more euthanasia is a hot topic with the End of Life Choice referendum on our option list this election. We all have a responsibility to do the right thing, God help us all.
I share the Timaru Herald story about Roger below, it is well worth a read.
TIMARU HERALD – MAY 2013
Warning of suicide, elder abuse
Legalising euthanasia would make a mockery of existing suicide prevention programmes, according to an anti-euthanasia activist.
Euthanasia Debate New Zealand executive officer Roger Gilbride said that once assisted suicide was normalised those struggling with suicidal tendencies were more likely to follow that path.
Mr Gilbride is touring the country for two weeks to share the latest research and information on the controversial issue.
He held a meeting in Timaru at the Sacred Heart Community Centre yesterday. Figures from the United States for 1999 to 2010 showed that since assisted suicide had been legalised in the state of Oregon, general suicides nationally had increased 28 per cent and in Oregon 49 per cent, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr Gilbride said.
In New Zealand, the 2003 Death With Dignity Bill was defeated on its first vote but the resurrected End of Life Choice Bill could be drawn from the ballot at any time, and Mr Gilbride wants Kiwis to be informed before that occurs.
The bill covers those over 18 who have unbearable physical or psychological suffering or are likely to die naturally within 12 months. “But that is problematic,” Mr Gilbride said, “as it is difficult to predict if someone will die within that time period.”
He said many people did not realise euthanasia was the direct intentional ending of someone’s life through a lethal injection or drug overdose. Medication to ease pain could shorten life and this was already practised but the ending of that life was a secondary effect, not the main intention, Mr Gilbride said.
Safeguards surrounding euthanasia in countries where it was legal, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, were often circumvented, he said.
Research published in the Canadian Medical Association journal in 2010 showed 32 per cent of euthanasia deaths in Flanders, Belgium, were performed without a patient’s request, he said.
“Safeguards are extremely difficult to police.” Sometimes the family would be swayed by a medical professional to go ahead with the death because they trusted their authority, Mr Gilbride said.
The fear was that if New Zealand legalised euthanasia, elder abuse would increase as the vulnerable and sick who felt they were a burden or unwanted would be pressured to end their lives early, Mr Gilbride said.