We're supposed to live in a free society, where people are free to advocate peacefully for changes to the law. But if you advocate peacefully for death with dignity, the police will come knocking on your door:
Wilhelmina Irving is 76, healthy, and law-abiding. She has no immediate plans to die.
But because she attended a euthanasia meeting in Lower Hutt on October 2, at which police were also believed to be present and noting down car registration plates, the law came knocking on her door.
When she recently got a knock at the door from a plain-clothed officer calling himself an inspector, she assumed he was a building inspector. But it soon turned out he wanted to discuss the meeting.
"He told me he knew exactly what had been said, who was there, everything else and [asked] what did I have to say?"
He asked if her children knew whether she had investigated the option of eventually ending her life. Her children did know, she said, just as they knew of her 25-year membership of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society VES).
Before leaving, the inspector gave her a letter, containing details for suicide and depression helplines, which she was instructed to open after he left.
This is chilling and Orwellian. It is no crime to advocate for a law change. It is no crime even to kill yourself. So why are the police investigating and persecuting these people? When Parliament is looking at changing the law, it smacks of interfering in the democratic process.