New Zealand lawmaker, Maryan Street withdrew her End of Life Choices Bill from the ballot in an unprecedented move. The New Zealand Parliament member said she was concerned about the debate and controversy the euthanasia bill might bring during the election year.
In withdrawing the euthanasia bill, Ms Street has made a commitment to the community to keep the bill away from the ballot. Pro-life groups have long requested for the euthanasia bill to be removed. For the good of New Zealand and the sake of the Labour party, Ms Street decided to scrap the bill.
Pro-life advocates said the bill does not belong in Parliament since its primary duty is to protect the lives of the people especially those who are the most vulnerable and not initiate their destruction.
Ms Street further claimed that the decision to withdraw support for the euthanasia bill was simply motivated by pragmatism. Despite her commitment to keep the End of Life Choices Bill away from the ballot, it seemed to be temporary as reports have claimed she is planning to return the bill after New Zealand's election.
Analysts believe that she gave in to pressure put on by other Labour party members. Her colleagues allegedly didn't want to campaign against it and the debate would only distract everyone from the rest of the campaign.
The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), Hospice New Zealand and the Catholic Bishops Conference all oppose the bill for they believe euthanasia or mercy-killing is "unethical" and should not be tolerated.
Euthanasia-Free New Zealand spokesperson Professor Emeritus David Richmond welcomed the news of the bill being withdrawn. He said it would be a good opportunity to educate New Zealanders especially lawmakers about the dangers of legalising euthanasia.
Professor Richmond said that despite the majority of people in favour of euthanasia based on public opinion polls, it only reflects a one-sided nature of the debate. He blamed the media for the favourable poll results. He said the simple questions on the polls took advantage of Kiwi ignorance regarding the wider issues.
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