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Media release: MP is lying over assisted dying bill

02 Apr 2019 8:05 PM | Philip Patston (Administrator)

Media release From the End-of-Life Choice Society 2 April 2019

MP Maggie Barry has resorted to lying in her campaign to prevent a law change that would allow terminally ill patients to die peacefully in dignity with medical assistance, the End-of-Life Choice Society said on Tuesday.

Barry, who is on Parliament’s Justice Select Committee considering the change, told TVNZ’s Q&A programme Monday night that people in Canada with “dementia, anorexia and arthritis” were being euthanased. She also claimed that children were being euthanased without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

None of that is true, EOLC vice-president Mary Panko, of Auckland, said Tuesday. To qualify for medical assistance in dying (MAID) under Canada’s law, people must be 18 years of age or older and have a grievous and irremediable condition.

They must have made a voluntary request, not under any external pressure, be evaluated by two independent doctors and give informed consent to MAID after being informed of means to relieve their suffering, including palliative care.

They must have a serious and incurable illness, disease or disability, be in an advanced state of irreversible decline, endure physical and psychological suffering that is intolerable and their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable. They must be mentally competent of providing informed consent at the time they receive MAID.

Ms Panko said: “It does not serve democracy when an MP deliberately seeks to foil a law change that 70% of voters want - despite a vigorous misinformation campaign based on blind dogma - with tactics designed to frighten the uninformed.

“She slurred the medical profession by asserting that some doctors would ignore the extensive safeguards in David Seymour’s Bill, accused the disabled of not being able to make their own decisions and claimed that a large segment of the population would want their parents or grandparents dead.

“Her tactics, seeking to stop New Zealanders getting an enlightened law of choice that nearly 200 million around the globe now have, are dishonest and dishonourable for someone who claims the title Honourable.”

Mary Panko – Tel: 027-419-7802

Released by David Barber, EOLC media adviser 021-072-8760

On the same subject, David Barber also sent this in response to a letter in the DomPost

How interesting that Michael Vanderpump (Letters, April 8) should mention "common sense and the truth" when opposing the End of Life Choice Bill.

These qualities have been singularly missing in the dogma-based opposition to the measure. It is common sense that people should not have to suffer in their dying days - and there is ample evidence that currently some do. 

And the Honourable Maggie Barry has repeatedly dishonourably and dishonestly told lies in her rabid opposition to a law change that a clear majority of New Zealand voters want.

© End-Of-Life Choice • PO Box 321, Gisborne 4040 • Email:

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