Seymour brushes off opposition to euthanasia from 1000 doctors

The MP behind a Bill that would legalise euthanasia is dismissing an open letter against the practise signed by 1000 doctors.

They say to assist a person to die fundamentally weakens the doctor-patient relationship based on trust and respect.

"If you are really determined to legalise euthanasia, find another profession to do it," organiser Dr Sinead Donnelly said in April. "Please leave doctors out of it so that we can focus on caring for our patients."

The Care Alliance's letter was published in a newspaper at the weekend.

But ACT leader David Seymour, who's backing the End of Life Choice Bill, says that perspective does not represent the majority of doctors nor international evidence.

"Only 6 percent of doctors have actually signed this letter. Many other doctors are in favour of choice, but haven't felt the need to take out expensive advertising in a newspaper," he told Newshub.

"The relationship between doctors and patients actually improves when everything is out in the open and assisted dying is a legal process."

The Bill is due to have its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday. Seymour says the letter will have no impact.

"Those doctors have the right to opt out of those provisions under my Bill - what they don't have the right to do is deny every other New Zealander the choice."

A Canadian doctor, who's taken part in 150 euthanisations, told Newshub Nation at the weekend it was a "privilege" to help people suffering.

Dr Stefanie Green said it was "naive" for doctors to oppose euthanasia.

"When someone is suffering intolerably at the end of their life and we have a legalised medical service that allows for us to help them in that moment, when a competent adult asks me to help them, I feel like I'm helping them by doing that... "Most of us go into medicine to help people - and this is another form of helping people at a really vulnerable and terrible time in their lives."