The New Zealand Parliament is currently considering the ‘End of Life Choice Bill’, which if passed, will allow assisted suicide.
It is very emotional and painful for all involved when a loved one reaches the last moments of life. As a church, we regularly assist people during these difficult times and understand why someone in pain would desire to end their life. We also respect the good intentions of those who support this bill and their right to promote it.
However real compassion means to care not just for the body but for the soul, and this bill should not be considered only in a superficial sense. Life is not given by humankind but is a gift from God, and I strongly believe that no person has the right to end a life. In the context of this bill, this means that no man or woman should be allowed to intentionally and proactively end the life of another. For this reason, I urge the Parliament to vote against this bill.
The bill is vague, open to interpretation, and like many changes to our social fabric, will likely be watered down further over time. The criminal, social and ethical ramifications are significant, and as in all areas of life, there will be people who do the wrong thing for personal gain or selfish reasons. To suggest that this bill will protect the vulnerable is naive, and in fact it is more likely to put the vulnerable at risk.
God loves and values every person, and through Jesus gives us all life and hope. This life and hope must be extended to every person for the duration of their life on earth, as God’s plan does not expire for any of us. We also believe that this hope extends beyond this world and lasts for eternity.