NZCN|Media Release – Churches urged to organise submissions on euthanasia issue

24 November 2015
Glyn Carpenter

NZCN|Media Release – Churches urged to organise submissions on euthanasia issue

by | Nov 24, 2015

Media Release

24 November 2015

MediaReleaseLeft_onWhiteNZ Christian Network is urging churches and individuals concerned about the possibility of euthanasia being legalised in New Zealand, to make submissions to the Health Select Committee before the due date 1 Feb 2016.

“There has been some very good work done by various groups on the issue. We are particularly impressed by and grateful for the work of the Care Alliance, which has produced a brochure to help people make submissions” – [Glyn Carpenter, NZ Christian Network]

The Care Allliance website contains all the information necessary to make a submission. This can be done online, or by email, or by traditional post.

“We are asking pastors and concerned individuals in churches to make sure the link to Care Alliance is circulated within churches” said Carpenter.

“But more than that … we have been informed by the chair of the select committee that if people are concerned about this issue, they MUST make a submission. Silence could be interpreted by MPs as people not caring.

Submissions can be as short as one sentence, or include as many points as people want to make. We’ve heard of one local church that finished its Sunday service early, handed out pens, paper, and envelopes, and in ten minutes, 130 submissions were written.

The important thing is for people to use their own words, and not to cut & paste someone else’s words.

We are also thankful to the Nathaniel Centre which produced the list of arguments below. People can use the list as a basis for making their own points in a submission.



New Zealand Christian Network is a broad-spectrum network of churches and Christian leaders, with a Board of Reference that includes leaders from all the main denominations. It seeks to present a biblically orthodox position on issues, reflecting the views of the majority of Christians in New Zealand.
For queries or further information contact: Glyn Carpenter
National Director, New Zealand Christian Network
Mobile 022 1 847466022 184 74

When making a submission, people must use their own words

Do not cut & paste someone else’s words

You can use this list as a basis for making your own points in a submission

  • People on both sides of the debate want to prevent intolerable suffering. The key issue is the long-term consequences of a law change for public safety. This is an issue of social justice – protecting the vulnerable.
  • Good clinical care aims to eliminate the pain, not kill the patient. The NZ Medical Association, the Society of Palliative Medical Physicians & Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand Society all oppose a law change.
  • When seriously ill patients receive good palliative care they rarely want to end their lives.
  • The legalising of EAS, especially for irreversible and unbearable mental conditions, accepts that ‘some suicides are okay’. This risks sending a ‘mixed message’ regarding the tragedy of youth suicide and creates a confusing double standard.
  • Abuse of the disabled and elderly is a serious issue in our country. Legalising euthanasia puts the elderly at further risk, especially in a society where the numbers of elderly are growing and there is increasing pressure on the health budget.
  • Changing the law would create a legal situation in which the state licenses death in advance and sanctions the death of certain of its citizens.
  • Changing the law will not mean an end to such cases going to court as it could still be difficult to distinguish between an assisted suicide and a murder.
  • Changing the law would send a message that the lives of some are not worth living – it will steer persons towards a premature death.
  • The fact that EAS are illegal means maximum efforts are made to relieve pain and address all aspects of a person’s suffering. Will this still occur if the law is changed?
  • It is neither possible nor rational to limit PAE or PAS to particular groups of people or specific conditions. There would be the same erosion of boundaries here in New Zealand as has occurred overseas.
  • Suicidal thoughts are usually associated with depression. Research shows that when depression is properly treated, most people change their minds about wanting to die.
  • New Zealand abolished the death penalty in large part because of the danger of executing even one innocent person. Legalising EAS will inevitably lead to some people being killed ‘when they don’t want to die’.
  • Legalising EAS undermines the long-standing convention against killing persons.
  • Changing the law will not mean an end to such cases going to court as it could still be difficult to distinguish between an assisted suicide and a murder.
  • Allowing Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide (EAS) opens the door for the disabled, sick and elderly to see themselves as an excessive financial and emotional burden. The ‘right to die’ could very quickly become a ‘duty to die’. No legislation can protect against this.
  • We should not ask doctors, who have a duty of care, to be involved in killing their patients.
  • Legalising voluntary EAS paves the way for euthanasia without request or consent.
  • Many assume that changing the law will simply allow the very small number of high-profile cases to proceed without legal objection. In fact, ‘legalisation leads to normalisation’ and, as has happened overseas, will lead to greatly increased numbers dying that way.
  • These days no-one need die in pain. Persistent requests for euthanasia are mostly related not to unrelieved pain but to a desire to be in control, a fear of being a burden or the experience of social isolation. EAS is not the right or best response to these issues.
  • The law already has the ability to show compassion to people who, in a state of anguish find themselves involved in assisting a suicide.
  • Granting a very small and vocal minority the choice to be killed will undermine the choice and/or will of many others to live.
Glyn Carpenter
Author: Glyn Carpenter

Glyn Carpenter was National Director of New Zealand Christian Network from March 2003 to 2017. He attends Northcote Baptist Church in Auckland, is married to Christine (married in 1981), and they have three sons – two working as doctors and one in computer science.

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