Despite the fact that List MP, Maryan Street withdrew her euthanasia bill from the parliament in late September, the issue is still simmering in the media.
Bob McCoskrie, from Family First New Zealand went on the front foot (either a cricket or boxing term - depending where you come from!) today in the New Zealand media highlighting the increases in euthanasia deaths in places like the Netherlands and Belgium.
"...international evidence shows that once assisted suicide or euthanasia are legalized, the once-selective criteria expand to include more and more people. This is as true in the Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, as it is in Oregon and Washington State, where assisted suicide was legalized in 1997 and 2009, respectively.
In Oregon, the number of deaths by assisted suicide has doubled since 2005. Prescriptions for a poisonous cocktail to kill patients have grown by 76% over the same time frame. The population of Oregon grew by seven percent during this time frame.
In Washington, between 2009 and 2012, the number of deaths by assisted suicide grew 130%. Over the same period, Washington's population grew only 18%.
In the Netherlands, the number of deaths by euthanasia has increased by 64% between 2005 and 2010. In comparison, the Dutch population grew by less that two percent over the same interval.
These are interesting observations because, had the criteria remained the same, that is to say, had the qualifying conditions been interpreted consistently since 2001 & 2002 in the case of The Netherlands and Belgium respectively, then one would have thought that the euthanasia deaths would have leveled out and perhaps only increased in line with population growth or decline. To be sure, there can be other factors but none, I submit, that would affect the data in a dramatic fashion.
Maryan Street is committed to re-introducing her bill after NZ's national elections in 2014.