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Dutch speaker on euthanasia arrives in NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Henk Reitsema is arriving in New Zealand today and will give four public talks in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Kapiti, hosted by Euthanasia-Free NZ. He has made an extensive study of the Dutch death statistics and the use of continuous deep sedation in end-of-life care in the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands euthanasia was tolerated for several years and eventually decriminalised in 2001. Mr Reitsema found that there is a correlation between the Dutch death statistics and the changes in euthanasia policy and that the Dutch death rate is now higher than the European average. He also concluded that decriminalisation of euthanasia has changed the way that society and physicians view treatments that may hasten death.

The proposed New Zealand End-of-Life Choice Bill contains similar safeguards to those required by the Dutch legislation. These safeguards have been unenforceable, since they have all been ignored by some Dutch doctors.

Mr Reitsema has helped to launch the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) Europe and has published a variety of articles, both scientific and popular, in the disciplines of philosophy, ethics, music history and the impact of worldview on culture.

He will be speaking from 7:30 to 9:00 pm tonight at the Mt Albert Senior Citizens Hall, in the Mt Albert War Memorial Reserve, corner of New North Road and Wairere Street, Mt Albert, Auckland.

On Tuesday he will be speaking from 7:30 to 9:00 pm at the Western Community Centre, 46 Hyde Avenue, Nawton, Hamilton.

The talks will also be repeated on Wednesday from 12:15 to 1:30 pm at the Elim International Church, 22 Tennyson Street, Te Aro, Wellington as well as from 7:00 to 8:30 pm that evening at Meadows Church, 1 Realm Drive, Paraparaumu.

Entry to all talks is free and all venues are wheelchair accessible.

Euthanasia-Free NZ Inc. is a secular, nationwide, non-profit organisation that exists to inform the public about the dangers of legalising "assisted dying" (euthanasia and assisted suicide). It is a founding member of the Care Alliance, which is one of the interveners in the upcoming High Court hearing in which Lecretia Seales is requesting that her doctor be allowed to help her commit suicide without prosecution.

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