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

See all articles by Marcus Noakes

Marcus Noakes

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: September 2, 2019

Abstract

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

Noakes, Marcus, Grandma Got Run Over by the Doctor: An Examination of the End of Life Choice Bill with Reference to the German Approach (September 2, 2019). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 33/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3623589 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3623589

Marcus Noakes (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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