New Zealand Medical Association opposed to ‘Assisted Dying’.

“Acting with the primary intention to bring about death cannot be reconciled with the core medical ethical principles of beneficence and non-maleficence”

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) has submitted its view of a Private Member’s Bill which is before the NZ Parliament and, predictably, is described as an End of Life Choice Bill – though its real aim is legalise physician-assisted suicide and physician-administered euthanasia.  The NZMA concludes that “our analysis of both the ethical and practical issues raised by euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide confirms our view that these practices would be harmful to individuals, especially vulnerable people, and society” and that such a law “would also profoundly alter the role and responsibilities of the medical profession and the doctor-patient relationship”.  It cannot, writes the NZMA, be reconciled with the do-no-harm principle underpinning clinical ethics.