ACT party leader David Seymour says euthanasia law standards need to be relaxed.
A year after it went into effect, the End-of-Life Options Act is working so well that those who oppose the change have “melted away,” Seymour said.
“The numbers overwhelmingly show the laws at work. If it works, that’s what we expect.”
In the year since the law was passed, 214 patients have been euthanized.
A total of 596 people applied, 294 were considered eligible and 120 were rejected as ineligible.
Seymour said one-third of ineligible patients were rejected because they did not meet the criteria for terminal illness, which is likely to kill them within six months.
He said he suspects that “there are some, if not many, people who have a disease that is terminal but doesn’t have a specific time frame.”
Seymour said he agreed to a six-month deadline to gain the support of the Greens to pass the bill.
“I fear that compromise will lead people to lose choice and control, even though their long suffering is as real as those with more imminent terminal conditions. will be.”
His original bill allowed non-terminally ill patients in a “serious and irreversible condition” to undergo voluntary euthanasia.
An amendment passed by referendum clarifies that an applicant cannot avail of euthanasia solely because of a disability or mental illness.
Seymour said he would advocate for the euthanasia law standard to be expanded when it is reviewed in 2024.
He is also concerned that one in six applicants had died of an underlying medical condition before obtaining euthanasia.
“It’s about excluding people with long-term medical conditions, which means a lot of unnecessary suffering,” he says.
better palliative care
Seymour wants the law to be relaxed, but health professionals want broader support for palliative care services.
The Royal College of GPs says it is too early for new law changes.
The College requires continued observation over the next 12 months.
Bryan Betty, Ph.D., medical director of the Royal College of GPs, says he wants more funding across the palliative care services sector.
“There is an underfunding of hospice, an underfunding of specialized palliative care services, and an underfunding of palliative care in general practice to support dying patients.”
Since December 2021, the number of patients seeking end-of-life care has increased from about 15 per month to about 20 in September 2022.
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https://cathnews.co.nz/2022/11/10/euthanasia-law-palliative-services/ Some want the euthanasia laws to be relaxed.Others want better relief