This World Hospice Day, 50 Doctors support End of Life Choice and Hospice working together
In a statement released today, 50 Doctors who support End of Life Choice, including Dr Lance O’Sullivan and Dame Margaret Sparrow, say the best end of life care will be achieved when Hospice and assisted dying work together.
They say “This World Hospice Day, we celebrate the extraordinary individuals providing Hospice and palliative care across New Zealand – without whom we wouldn’t have what has been rated the third best Hospice and palliative care worldwide. We join calls for more funding and resources for this precious part of our healthcare system.
“We also call for Hospice and assisted dying laws to work together to provide seamless and dignified end of life care.
“A small but vocal minority claim all Doctors oppose the End of Life Choice Act. That is not true.
“We represent the enormous number of healthcare professionals who support assisted dying, including the majority of nurses and a substantial number of doctors including GPs and specialists in geriatrics, palliative care and ethics. Hundreds of Doctors say they will support eligible people to access the End of Life Choice Act.
“We support End of Life Choice because even the best Hospice system in the world cannot alleviate all suffering. A recent report shows 2-5% of people suffer unbearably as they die. That’s around 250 Kiwis every year.
“New Zealand now has the opportunity to change this by voting YES for the End of Life Choice Act.
“This Act will provide an additional option for terminally ill adults to choose assisted dying if their suffering becomes unbearable; to die in a planned, peaceful way, surrounded by loved ones, conscious and able to say goodbye.
“Overseas, Hospice and assisted dying laws work together and complement one another. What’s more, countries with assisted dying laws see increased funding for palliative care. We look forward to collaborating with our Hospice colleagues here in New Zealand to achieve the same, so we can continue to provide exemplary care to our patients and remain a global leader in end of life care.
Your YES vote in the End of Life Choice referendum will make sure our Hospices remain some of the most wonderful places to die in the world.”
Dr Libby Smales, Specialist Palliative Care Physician CNZM FAChPM, MBBS
Dr Lance O’Sullivan
Dame Margaret Sparrow, Sexual Health Physician (retired)
Dr Cindy Towns, Consultant Internal Medicine Physician and Geriatrician
Dr Stanley Koshy, GP
Dr Jack Havill ONZM, Intensive Care Medicine Specialist (retired)
Dr Miles Williams, Cardiologist
Dr Richard Luke, Cardiologist
Dr James Curtis, Respiratory Physician
Dr Nik Krawchenko, Medical Registrar
Dr Hamish Liggins, GP Registrar
Dr Malcolm Arnold, Gastroenterologist
Dr Mike Halstead, Medical Registrar
Dr Shannon McCarthy, Medical Registrar
Dr Alan Stanley, Neurologist
Dr Baneet Singh, Medical Registrar
Dr Kate Kerse, Medical Registrar
Dr Brad Sandleback, Emergency Medicine Consultant
Dr Grant Cave, Intensive Care Consultant
Dr Mariusz Wolbinski, Cardiologist
Dr Emma Jones Medical Registrar
Dr Ruud Horlings, Dermatologist
Dr Alison Bennett, GP
Dr Christine Maslowski, Retired GP
Dr Jim Stewart, Cardiologist
Dr Peter Ruygrok, Cardiologist
Dr Rachael Leigh, General Physician
Dr Frank Kueppers Urologist
Dr James Davidson, Pathologist (retired)
Dr John Musgrove, GP (retired)
Dr Rowan Stephens, GP (retired)
Dr David Robins, GP/Anaesthetist/Obstetrician (retired)
Dr Tanya Quin, GP
Dr John Bonning
Dr Gary Payinda, Emergency Medicine Specialist
Dr Carol Shand, GP (retired)
Dr Barry Suckling, GP (retired)
Dr David Bivona, MD, FRNZCGP, MRCGP, DRCOG
Dr Alison Knowles MBChB Dip Obs FRNZCGP
Dr Janet Downs MA FRNZCGP DCH DRCOG GP
Dr E Jane MacDonald
Dr Peter Feltham, GP (retired)
Dr John Duncan FRNZCGP
Dr Stuart Tiller FRNZCGP. MPH.
Dr Erich Kusel FRNZCGP GP
Dr James Aubrey, GP (retired)
Dr David Levy, Consultant Emergency Medicine
Dr Rochelle Wilson, GP (retired)
Dr David Davidson, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialist
Dr Noel Nicholson, Otolaryngologist
Yes for Compassion aims to ensure New Zealanders can cast informed yes votes in the End of Life Choice referendum on 17 October.
Dr Libby Smales, a palliative care physician with more than two decades experience as former Director of Cranford Hospice and Yes for Compassion spokesperson, can provide comment.
Media contact: Jo de Joux – 021 245 6924