Catholic Bishops Welcome Terms of Reference for Inquiry into Ending of Life

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops have welcomed the Terms of Reference announced by the Health Select Committee for its investigation into the intentional ending of life in New Zealand.

Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Bishops, Cardinal John Dew noted that the investigation was to be a broad-based one, saying “We have always maintained that a robust discussion about euthanasia or assisted suicide has to take full account of the societal context in which we live. We’re pleased the Committee has allocated a generous time for public consultation.”

“Our personal choices are never made in isolation. The Terms of Reference will allow for a wide-ranging investigation into all of the factors that lead people, young and old, to contemplate ending their own lives.”

“Justice Collins’ recent decision in the Crown v Seales case made clear that any change will necessarily involve amending the present law on aiding and abetting suicide. We are pleased to see the inquiry will consider the situation of all who desire to end their own lives. It will be just as important to hear from those who work daily with people at risk of taking their own lives or who have a terminal diagnosis. ” Cardinal Dew said.

Full details of the Select Committee’s Terms of Reference are available here