ARTICLE - SUBMISSION: Maxim Institute's submission to the Health Select Committee
Since late 2013, Maxim Institute has undertaken a stream of research into the legal and policy arguments regarding euthanasia and the international experience of legalised assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia. This submission provides responses to numbers three and four of the Health Select Committee’s Terms of Reference for their inquiry into the ending of one's life in New Zealand.
BLOG - Removing the barriers
As Shawn Fremstad of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research states: “disability is both a fundamental cause and consequence of income poverty.” With the need to pay for extra support, medical bills, and specialty equipment, the cost of living for people with disabilities can be incredibly high. Place this alongside a low income as a result of “job loss and reduced earnings, [as well as] barriers to education and skills development” and the result for many people with disabilities is poverty and isolation from society.
BLOG - The public square vs the voting booth
Why was Donald Trump’s election so surprising? One obvious reason is that he was completely unfit to be president. Less obvious is the fact that so much of what is now said and assumed in public life implied that his ideas were out-of-touch with the majority, with reality, and with the future. But as the election showed us, the consensus positions of public life turned out to be out-of-touch with a huge number of American voters. There’s a problem with our public conversations, and it points to a lesson for New Zealand.
BLOG - Lessons from America
Thinking, it seems, has gone out of fashion. Over the past decade linguists have shown how the usage of “I feel like” has skyrocketed, becoming a synonym for “I think.” As New York Times columnist Molly Worther writes, “in American politics, few forces are more powerful than a voter’s vague intuition.” The “reflex to hedge every statement as a feeling or a hunch,” as she describes it, illustrates a general unwillingness to genuinely engage with the evidence. Psychologists call this confirmation bias: when faced with facts that contradict our deeply-held beliefs, we tend to rationalise the facts away.
BLOG - Not helping harms us
In “[m]edieval and earlier times beggars were considered a normal part of the community.” Beggars “reminded people of the possibility of random misfortune” and giving alms to assist them was seen as a duty. It wasn’t until after the black plague, the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution that “beggars were no longer viewed as normal, but [as] threats to the social order and national prosperity.” Alongside wages and prosperity for many, blame, shame, and division crept into our thinking about societal and economic norms.
BLOG - Posturing doesn't help those facing poverty
“I know that’s not PC, but you know, that’s me,” said Judith Collins last week as she commented on child poverty at a police conference. Cue Metiria Turei, co-leader of the Greens, who alleged that Collins was displaying “deepest ignorance” and making “a foolish statement” because Collins reportedly had said that child poverty is “primarily” due to “a lack of [parental] responsibility.”
BLOG - Of revolution and reaction
Right and left don’t seem to make much sense of the world anymore. Perhaps, as New York Times columnist David Brooks writes, the ideas of revolution and reaction better describe today’s political climate. Are we currently in the “Age of Reaction,” as Brooks contends?