Dr R J M Gardner writes in support

  • October 19, 2015

I wish to support this bill going to Parliament. I write as someone who has himself an advance directive, having the purpose to avoid intrusive medical intervention in the event of becoming mentally incompetent. My particular focus is the desire to avoid ever being in a position of loss of dignity and/or loss of mental competence (such as, for example, of one suffering from Alzheimer's disease). "One is one's brain."

I also write as the person responsible for having invited Prof Aad Tibben, of Leyden, to address a session at the 2013 conference of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia in Queenstown, on the topic of physician-assisted suicide for those with Huntington's disease (available in the Netherlands); Maryan Street was also a speaker on that occasion.

And I write as someone who took part in a debate "That this class supports the concept of physician-assisted suicide", as a speaker for the affirmative, at a reunion of my med school graduating class at Waitangi, a few years ago.