Grandma Got Run Over by the Doctor: An Examination of the End of Life Choice Bill with Reference to the German Approach
34 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020
Date Written: September 2, 2019
With the advent of the End of Life Choice Bill 2019, the matter of assisted dying has again come to the forefront of current political debate. This Bill, like past attempts to create an assisted dying framework, lacks a strong underlying value guiding its approach. In 2017, Germany confronted the topic of assisted dying. Unlike New Zealand’s legislature-driven approach, the German situation came about following a judicial challenge to laws which impeded the claimant’s wife’s right to uphold her dignity. This paper argues that the German approach to assisted dying, with its underlying value of dignity, results in a better assisted dying scheme than the New Zealand Bill. This focus on dignity leads to two major benefits which this paper investigates. The first is that it results in a process which legalises only medically assisted suicide and not euthanasia. This distinction, if incorporated into the New Zealand Bill, could result in a safer and more Bill of Rights Act-compliant approach. The second benefit is that having dignity as a cornerstone leads to a principled and non-arbitrary set of eligibility criteria. This paper also examines and recommends a further aspect of the German approach: its prohibition on the commercialisation of assisted dying.
Keywords: "assisted dying", euthanasia, germany, "new zealand"
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation