NZ Herald 23 June 2019Family First Comment: The doctors said they were “committed to the concept of death with dignity and comfort”, including effective pain relief and excellence in palliative care. And they uphold the right of patients to decline treatment.One thousand doctors have signed a letter saying they “want no part in assisted suicide”.They have urged politicians and policy-makers to let them focus on saving lives and care for the dying, rather than taking lives, which they deemed unethical – whether legal or not.The letter comes as Parliament is due to start the second reading debate on Act MP David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill on Wednesday.The doctors said they were “committed to the concept of death with dignity and comfort”, including effective pain relief and excellence in palliative care. And they uphold the right of patients to decline treatment.But the 1000-strong group said it believed “physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are unethical, even if they were made legal”.“We believe that crossing the line to intentionally assist a person to die would fundamentally weaken the doctor-patient relationship which is based on trust and respect,” the letter reads.“We are especially concerned with protecting vulnerable people who can feel they have become a burden to others, and we are committed to supporting those who find their own life situations a heavy burden.”Finishing, they said: “Doctors are not necessary in the regulation or practice of assisted suicide. They are included only to provide a cloak of medical legitimacy.“Leave doctors to focus on saving lives and providing real care to the dying.”The letter – along with 1000 names of the doctors who support it – has been published as a full-page advertisement in today’s Herald on Sunday.https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12242957&ref=twitter (behind paywall)Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.