Last week, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key created an uproar when he described what he thought was euthanasia (and got it wrong!) and then proceeded to infer that NZ doctor's break the law (that euthanasia already happens in NZ hospitals).
Today he backtracked somewhat, acknowledging that his language had been 'sloppy'.
The article (below) closes whith, Key said his comments were a way of him explaining why he might vote for such a law.'
All the NZ PM has really told us is that he's voting on his emotions with a clear lack of regard for the facts. This is a very poor example!
Prime Minister John Key has backed away from his comments about euthanasia, saying his language on the sensitive issue was "a bit sloppy".
The comment angered doctors who said euthanasia was never practised as it was the deliberate ending of life, and was illegal and unethical.
The suggestion could seriously damage the trust people had in hospital care of the terminally ill, doctors said.
Capital & Coast District Health Board head of palliative care Jonathan Adler said switching off a life support machine and allowing someone to die of natural causes was not euthanasia.
Key today said his comments were made on talkback radio.
"It was in the context of a wider discussion about a scenario where I think I am saying the same thing as those doctors," he told Radio Live.
"They use specific and arguably accurate legal or medical definitions and I was using a bit of a general term."
The prime minister said he was not suggesting doctors were doing anything illegal.
"I acknowledge when a family makes a decision to switch off a life support unit, if they do, that that is not euthanasia as it is legally defined but I am just saying the practical implication of that is someone passes away."
Key said he accepted the doctors' point. "I was probably a bit sloppy in my language."
Labour MP Maryan Street has an "End of Life Choice" Bill in the private member's ballot but it must be drawn before the issue is debated by Parliament.
Key said his comments were a way of him explaining why he might vote for such a law.
"I think if you are terminally ill and have a couple of weeks to live, personally, I don't like seeing people go through a lot of pain."