Tue Jul 10, 2012 - 6:38 pm EST
Speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand – Part 3
I arrived in Australia on June 23, speaking in Melbourne, South Australia and then Tasmania.
On June 29 I left Australia and arrived in Auckland New Zealand to speak at a conference, organized by a local steering committee that was titled: Legalized Euthanasia: Do we need it?
The conference on Saturday, June 30 was very impressive with approximately 100 attendees from across New Zealand.
The conference had several excellent speakers including a member of the New Zealand parliament, Dr. Huhana Hickey, who spoke about euthanasia from a legal perspective as well as from a Maori (native) perspective, Russell Vickery, a disability leader, who spoke about Euthanasia and the disability community, John Kleinsman who spoke about euthanasia from a New Zealand and world perspective, and then myself who spoke about how legalizing euthanasia is a threat to vulnerable persons.
Russell Vickery who is a leader in the disability community in New Zealand and Internationally was also the MC for the day.
I was incredibly pleased with the quality of the presentations and the excellent questions that were asked by the participants during the Open Forum.
I found the Maori perspective to be a fascinating perspective on life and I think they, as a people, will be great allies to opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide in New Zealand.
After the conference ended a group of people met to discuss organizing a group similar to HOPE or EPC. There were many talented people in the room and several of those people agreed to be part of an organization.
After the meeting ended I was brought to the TVNZ studio in Auckland where I had the opportunity to debate Maryan Street, the New Zealand politician who plans to introduce a bill to legalize euthanasia, on the Q + A TV program.
The show was a set-up. It first featured an interview with Sean Davidson, the man who assisted the suicide of his mother Patricia. Sean is now campaigning to legalize assisted suicide in South Africa. Secondly, the moderator decided his role was to debate me rather than moderating the debate between myself and Ms. Street. Finally Ms. Street was a formidable debating opponent herself. Link to the program.
I predict that a very effective organization will form in New Zealand and the bill to legalize euthanasia introduced by Maryan Street will be defeated.
Thank you to the organizers of the conference in Auckland for giving me the opportunity to speak and to help them form a cohesive and effective coalition in New Zealand.