A visiting Canadian doctor claims if New Zealand introduces euthanasia, it could result in children choosing to end their own lives without their parents’ input.
Canadian palliative care physician Leonie Herx is in New Zealand to take part in a debate hosted by North Shore MP Maggie Barry on ACT MP David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill…
Euthanasia has been legal in Canada since 2016, where it’s known as medical aid in dying, or MAID. Since then about 8000 have chosen to end their lives this way, Dr Herx says, making up around 1.5 percent of all deaths.
She told The AM Show on Monday it took Belgium 16 years to reach that level, after legalising the practise in 2002.
“How did we get to this place in two years, so rapidly?”
Dr Herx however says there are already moves to widen eligibility.
“We’ve had a Superior Court Justice who’s said the reasonably foreseeable death clause does not apply – so prognosis is not to be a factor. So anyone with chronic disease, osteoarthritis for example, have been given permission to be euthanised. Now the Government has mandated a taskforce to look at extending the criteria to including mental health.”
The Canadian law currently states that their natural death has to be “reasonably foreseeable”, ruling out conditions like osteoarthritis and mental health.
It also states they have to be at least 18, but Dr Herx suspects that’s about to change.
“The largest children’s hospital in Canada – the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children – has already published their guidelines on how euthanasia will occur for mature minors. It includes if the child says they don’t want the parent to know, the parent will be informed the child has died after they’ve received euthanasia.”
Watch her Interview at News Hub…