The NZ Buddhist Council is not in favour of euthanasia. The first principle of Buddhism is not to harm sentient life and the extreme form of harm is causing death. Buddhists try to motivate all their actions with compassion. Seeing suffering urges a Buddhist to respond in the most skillful way that one can. When someone requests euthanasia they are crying out for help because their pain and other symptoms that are not well controlled. This is a call for urgent, more skillful help, not an intervention to bring on death. We think the focus should be on training and improving palliative care for all medical staff and related assistants and better access to these professionals everywhere in NZ. Good palliative care offers quality physical, mental, and spiritual support. This is what our government should provide. Not a quick unnecessary fix.
We have read this bill and have found that it is not well-drafted and could be dangerous for vulnerable people. We agree with Hospice NZ https://www.hospice.org.nz/resources/end-of-life-choice-act-our-concerns/euthanasia-our-opinion/
This referendum is not about whether NZers agree with euthanasia. It is about this bill specifically, and with reference to causing no harm, it is the opinion of NZBC that it would not keep all NZers safe.