From the Social Justice Desk
November 1, 2017
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Your Voice Counts: Calling for Submissions on the End of Life Choice Bill.

25 Jan 2018

Parliament’s Justice Select Committee are calling for New Zealanders to submit their views on David Seymour’s ‘End of Life Choice’ Bill, which seeks to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide in New Zealand.

While many of you will have made a submission to the Health Select Committee inquiry about ‘Ending Life in New Zealand’, this is a different inquiry specifically about the ‘End of Life Choice’ Bill.

On the weekend of the 27 and 28 January, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops will be sending a letter to all parishes in New Zealand for Masses, encouraging everyone to make their voices heard on this crucial issue by making a submission. This will be accompanied by a fact sheet on euthanasia and assisted suicide, and a submission guide providing information on how to make a submission.

The Health Select Committee inquiry demonstrated the power of individual voices for affirming life. Because of the overwhelming number of submissions against euthanasia, parliament took notice. Your voice counted then. But it’s important to do it again.

The submissions are a chance for you to have your say and to affirm life by taking a stand against David Seymour’s Bill. They will inform the Justice Select Committee’s report and provide an important gauge of public opinion on the Bill. This, in turn, will inform what MPs think of the Bill and how they may vote at the Bill’s second reading.

To quote from the Bishops letter to all Catholics: “It is a powerful witness when the entire Catholic community is united around a point of belief and action – the upholding of the dignity of human life – which is so central to our faith and pivotal to an inclusive and caring society.”

This excellent video discusses the complexities and risks associated with euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Submissions close very soon on 20 February 2018 so it’s important to act now. Submissions can be made online at the Parliament website, by email, or by post.

This is about your voice. Make it heard. Make it count.

 

October 27, 2015.    Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide – Petition before Parliament

There is a petition before Parliament “that the House of Representatives investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable”.

In response to this petition, the Health Select Committee is undertaking an investigation into ending one’s life in New Zealand. The committee will consider all the various aspects of the issue, including the social, legal, medical, cultural, financial, ethical, and philosophical implications.

The Health Committee will investigate:
– the factors that contribute to the desire to end ones life
– the effectiveness of services and support available to those who desire to end their own lives
– the attitudes of New Zealanders towards the ending of one’s life and the current legal situation
– international experiences

The New Zealand Bishops are urging us all to send individual submissions.  The bishops want numbers.  The submissions do not have to be long or scientific. A simple statement along the lines of, “I am very concerned by …” then followed by your reasons would be very useful. If you can include a short personal story all the better but this is not necessary for the submission to have impact.  Your submission can be done by letter or online.

Each of us now has the opportunity to put in a submission.

The following documents may help you understand the position better (click to open)
Euthanasia – Myths and Fact
8 dangers of legal Euthansia

We urge you to write a submission to the Health Select Committee Inquiry.
You can make a submission online (see www.nathaniel.org.nz) or a write a submission or letter for posting.
– head your submission ‘Health Select Committee: Petition of Hon Maryan Street and 8,974 others’
– attach a covering letter with your (or your organisation’s) name and address, email address and day-time phone number
– state whether you would like to make an oral submission
– send two hard copies

The Content:
– state your general position
– stick to the four areas in the Committee’s Terms of Reference  (above)
– decide what are the main points you want to address; you do not have to address all four areas
– two pages is an ideal length – but submissions can be as short as one sentence

A submission can be in the form of a letter
– use your own words; well-used phrases are likely to mean your arguments are overlooked by the Committee
– don’t use ‘form letters’, they are not treated as individual submissions
– you can use evidence, arguments or stories, or all three
– be clear, concise and accurate. Add a summary conclusion.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 1 February 2016.

If you are posting your submission send two hard copies to:
Secretariat
Health Committee
Select Committee Services
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

Note that your submission/letter will need a stamp

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