Petition: Vote No to euthanasia

Presenting their petition, from left, Mary Pepping, Jan Lucas, MP Simeon Brown, Kevin McCormick, Edel Roughton, James Roughton, Walton Morais. Photo supplied

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown was presented with the local results of a nationwide petition asking MPs to vote ‘no’ to the End of Life Choice Bill.

Peter Thirkell, secretary of the Care Alliance, said 1929 voters in the eastern Auckland electorates (Pakuranga, Botany, Tamaki, Maungakiekie) had signed the petition since it was launched last month.

“The depth and breadth of concern about this bill is reflected in the rapid collection of signatures online and in person. It follows on from the 38,707 submissions to the Select Committee, of which 90 per cent were opposed.”

Dr Thirkell urged Brown to vote no at the Second Reading. “The clear evidence from the Select Committee hearings is that the bill is unnecessary, unsafe and unwise. This petition asks all MPs to follow those facts. Genuinely caring for people with chronic and terminal illnesses requires much more than offering a lethal injection.”

Brown said the End of Life Choice Bill is a “difficult and controversial issue”.

“I have been pleased to engage with people from across Pakuranga on both sides of the issue over the past year and value everyone’s opinion,” he said.

“I was pleased to accept this petition which represents a large number of people who oppose this Bill in the east Auckland community.

“As I outlined in my column in last week’s Howick and Pakuranga Times, I will be voting ‘no’ to this Bill as it is clear that no system of euthanasia, no matter how carefully designed, can ensure the most vulnerable in society are protected from coercion.

“Instead I believe we must be investing more into palliative care, and ensuring people are more informed around the rights they have in making advanced care directives.”