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The government’s policy on preventing suicide is incoherent !

Media Release October 26th 2023

Right to Life requests that the newly elected government, led by Prime Minister elect Christopher Luxon, urgently address the current incoherent policy of preventing suicide on one hand and at the same time promoting and funding assisted suicide as a health service for the terminally ill.

Suicide is self murder, it is intrinsically evil and is a violation of the Fifth oCmmandment, Thou shalt not kill. The Chief Coroner has announced that 565 people died by suicide in New Zealand in the year to 30 June 2023. Each of these deaths is a tragedy for their family and for the community.

The government has an excellent Suicide Prevention Strategy administered by the Ministry of Health. The government is also promoting assisted suicide provided by the End of Life Choice Act 2019. Access and promotion of assisted suicide is administered by the Quality Assurance & Safety Improvement & Innovation unit in the Ministry of Health.

Right to Life wrote to the Minister of Health, Andrew Little, on 10th January 2022 on this issue. He requested the Deputy Director General of Health, Clare Perry to respond. Ms Perry responded on 17th February, writing “I would like to assure you that the Ministry of Health remains fully committed to achieving the vision outlined in He Tapu te Oranga, namely to achieve a future where there is no suicide in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Ministry also has a role in ensuring that people who are eligible to seek assisted dying are able to receive what is a lawful service, if they choose to apply, and meet the eligibility criteria set out in the End of Life Choice Act 2019.”