END OF LIFE CHOICE REFERENDUM
To all those who worked so hard to educate people about the Act - thank you.
To all those who created opportunities, offered spaces, forwarded emails, clicked on links, re-tweeted, shared, and so on - thank you.
To all those who embraced the privilege of voting - thank you.
To those champions - like Heather and Rachel Major - who worked relentlessly to promote this cause with passion, professionalism and good humour - thank you.
And may God bless you all richly!
We're not voting on whether 'assisted dying' or euthanasia should be legal. We are deciding whether the End of Life Choice Act 2019 should come into force. Your vote is essential.
To change NZ's flag required a 71% vote in favour - to pass law that enables people to die only requires 51%! Please vote. Even if you support euthanasia/assisted-dying, we do not believe this is the right legislation. We must protect the vulnerable and reject dangerous law.
Please note: All these options already exist in current legislation:
- The right to switch off life support;
- The right to reject nutrition (food), hydration (water), testing and/or treatment;
- Receiving medication that seeks to relieve symptoms but also hastens death is not illegal (the "double effect").
We're voting on a specific piece of legislation which leading lawyer and Queen's Counsel, Grant Illingworth, describes as "dangerous".
This Act would make it legal for doctors and nurse practitioners to administer a lethal dose of medication (euthanasia) or to give it to someone to self-administer (assisted suicide) - to die as early as 4 days after receiving a diagnosis...without having to see a specialist, without trying any treatment first, or being screened for depression...and without needing to tell any friends or family.
- That means an 18 year-old could be diagnosed on Monday and dead on Thursday without reference to family or friends.
- The doctors would not need to know her or him.
- They would not have to be in physical pain to be eligible for assisted dying.
- They would not have to try any treatments to become eligible for assisted dying.
- There is no independent test for coercion or pressure.
- There is no cool down period.
Please, vote no to value life.
Why does the Diocese have an official position on this Act?
At our diocesan Synod in 2019 the following motion was passed:
“That this Synod reaffirms its decision of 2014 (Motion 4) and continues to oppose any move to legalise euthanasia or physician-assisted-suicide in New Zealand. Furthermore, it urges ministry units and individuals to:
i) Make submissions opposing the End of Life Choice Bill to their local MPs;
ii) Advocate increased spending on and resourcing for enhanced palliative and end-of-life care.”
Our Diocesan Position is the result of this democratic process. As always, individuals are free to vote according to their conscience.
Events you can attend
- July 25: Te Awamutu - Methodist Church, 37 Bank St - 2:00pm
- July 30: Hamilton - Fairfield Baptist, 1101 Heaphy Tce: Family First (addressing both referenda) - 7:30pm
- August 17: Alan Vink (interviewing Dr Lara Hoskins, and Caralise Trayes) at West Hamilton community church (27A Rifle Range Rd)
- August 19: Matamata - All Saints, 8 Hohaia St - from 7:00pm (on pause due to Covid-19)
- August 27: "Lively MP Debate" Fairfield Baptist Church 7.30pm: "National say they are the Government to lead the economic recovery - True or False" (in addition two Christian leaders will speak on the referenda)
- August 28: "Meet the Candidates" 5.30pm - St Peter's Cathedral, Hamilton
- September 6: St Peter's Cathedral, Hamilton at 6:00pm (tbc)
- Sun 6 September at 6: St Peter's Cathedral, Hamilton at 6:00pm. Invite your friends
- Mon 21 September: LeadershipWorx on the EOLC referendum at West Hamilton community church (27A Rifle Range Rd)
- Wed 23 September: Matamata - All Saints, 8 Hohaia St - from 7:00pm
- Thu 1 October: "Lively MP Debate" Fairfield Baptist Church 7.30pm: "National say they are the Government to lead the economic recovery - True or False" (in addition two Christian leaders will speak on the referenda)
- Fri 8 October: "Meet the Candidates" 5.30pm - St Peter's Cathedral, Hamilton
Introduction from Diocesan Response Team
As Christians our emphasis is upon celebrating life as a precious gift from God; to remember that all are created equal and in the image of God.
As humans our tendency is to ascribe different value to different lives, but Jesus reminds us that we are called to love the marginalised and protect the vulnerable.
Our tradition rejects murder and promotes compassion. Christ’s compassion—his capacity to suffer alongside us—defines much of his ministry. As Christians, we know that our God truly understands what it is to weep, to suffer, and to die. God does not ask us to celebrate such suffering; God simply asks us to respond with loving-kindness.
When we encounter questions of euthanasia and assisted-dying we bring all of this—and all our own experience of suffering, dying and death—to every conversation.
Therefore, the resources we offer you cannot hope to honour all of that. Instead, they simply ask you to reject the End of Life Choice Act 2019 (EOLCA) and invite you to discover some of the reasons why.
May God guide you as you make your choice in this year's referendum.
Promoted by S Black, Charlotte Brown House, 104 Morrinsville Rd, Hamilton
If you would someone to visit your community to learn more about this critical issue please consider this invitation from Heather Major.
I am grateful for opportunities to provide some education around the End of Life Choice referendum. With just over 70 days till Election Day I hope to speak to hundreds of voters as the details of the Act we are voting on are not widely known. I also hope that sharing our family's story about my late husband, who would have eligible for euthanasia several times if this had been law, helps to get people thinking about choice and public safety.
One man said to me after my talk at Coromandel Greypower, "Now I couldn't actually tell if you are for or against euthanasia in general". That's actually positive for me, it means that in my talk I am sticking to the facts of the bill and the referendum decision which is NOT whether the terminally ill should suffer and is NOT whether euthanasia should be legalised.
The specific proposal is: should the "End of Life Choice Act 2019" come into force? Yes or no.
45 minutes is the average time I take to tell a bit of our story, give all the important facts about the Act and referendum and allow time for questions but if there's less time offered I will still take it! I am also available to speak online.
My email address has a 'j' in the middle which is important to stress.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Heather Major 0273156031