This post was written by David Barber, media adviser and newsletter editor for the End of Life Choice Society
There is nothing new about the concept of a doctor helping to hasten the end of somebody who is already dying to spare further pain and suffering.
It is not some fanciful New Age idea, as some seem to think in the lead-up to this month’s referendum on the End of Life Choice Act.
Euthanasia (the word translates as “good death” in Greek) was practised in Ancient Greece and Rome, where writers and philosophers reported that good emperors prayed for a dignified and pain-free farewell.
After becoming the first country to allow women to vote, in 1893, New Zealand developed a trailblazing reputation for social reform, but has fallen behind in legalising medical assistance to die, which is seen by advocates as the last human right denied citizens – the right to die when and how one chooses. Continue reading “There’s nothing new about the concept of end of life choice”