An Auckland man who helped his wife die was her "hero" and ending her suffering from multiple sclerosis was a "courageous" act, his lawyer has told a court.
Evans James Mott, 61, was discharged without conviction in the High Court at Auckland this morning after he pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting the suicide of Rosemary Mott, who died at her home in Paritai Dr, Orakei, on December 28 last year.
A packed public gallery of right-to-die advocates applauded when Justice Patricia Courtney announced Mott would not face a penalty.
Rosie was suffering from an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis that gave her tremors, making it hard for her to feed herself, incontinence, and made it hard to walk.
She resolved to take her life in 2010.
Mansfield said Rosie needed someone who would listen to her, help her, and not betray her by reporting her to authorities.
He asked the court to consider what it must have been like for Mott to have to say goodbye to his wife and leave the house while she took her life, so he could not be charged in relation to the death.
Mr Mott's own words state the case for euthanasia law: 'Rosie should not have died alone':
"For Rosie to be that sick and to die alone by her own hand, that's not right. Our family should have been around her to say goodbye."
As a result of the court case, Evans has become the reluctant public face of the campaign to legalise euthanasia.
He advocates that New Zealand should allow euthanasia by a medical professional, as in some Scandinavian countries, and subject to tight controls.
"Imagine if you had a dog which was old, can hardly walk and in constant pain. The SPCA would charge you with animal cruelty. If you can be merciful to an animal and put them down, why does society say no when it's a family member? The system is flawed.
Evans rejects the assertion of those who oppose moves to legalise euthanasia.
"I have the right to choose for me and equally those people have the right to choose for themselves. Just as I have no right to choose for them".
I really can be a bit thick at times, or rather, I pay scant attention to the workings of Parliament because what goes on there makes me so angry, but anyway, after a Twitter discussion with MP Maryan Street - who on this issue is excellent - I now find out that her Euthanasia Bill is only one of 60 Bills in the ballot, and may never come up. So on top of all the other problems with our social democracies, now I have to add morality by raffle.
Anyway, the final ignominy on this issue is that to get this legislation up for vote, even, and have control of my death, I would have to vote Labour, who want complete control of my life, via my wallet, while I'm living.
In the face of contradictory nonsense like this, we need a Western Spring.