TODAY |

Voluntary euthanasia a human right, says visiting Dutch expert

One of the world's leading experts on voluntary euthanasia is touring New Zealand with a message that society has nothing to fear from letting people die in dignity, not in pain and misery.

Source: News

Dr Rob Jonquière helped draft ground-breaking legislation that allowed Dutch people suffering a terminal illness to choose doctor-assisted suicide. He's also Communications Director of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, which covers 24 countries.

Touring New Zealand to tell of his experiences, he says allowing doctors to help people with unbearable suffering end their lives quietly and calmly at a time of their choosing is a human right and society has nothing to fear from letting people die in dignity, not in pain and misery.

Dr Rob Jonquière has spoken to crowds of up to 150 at meetings throughout the North Island organised by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand and has talked with doctors, nurses and other medical specialists.

Dr Jonquière will hold a press conference in Wellington this morning and will address a public meeting in the capital on Saturday.

A Horizon Research poll in 2012 found 62.9% of those surveyed supported allowing mentally competent adults to receive assistance to end their life if they had a terminal illness or irreversible and unbearable condition.

But the Voluntary Euthanasia Society says our politicians are not prepared to grant them that right.

The survey found 12.3% were opposed to voluntary euthanasia.