Voluntary Exits advocate Philip Nitschke says Exit International members targeted by Australian police…


eNitschke said an 83-year-old woman living in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak had been visited twice by police in two weeks. The woman was first visited by by Australian federal police, who seized the imported euthanasia drug Nembutal.

From The Guardian

Nembutal is used both in animals and humans as a sedative, anticonvulsant and anaesthetic. But some people seek the powerful barbiturate online and overseas and illegally import it to assist in suicide. Importing barbiturates without permission is a criminal offence.

Last week, the woman was again visited by police, this time by three detectives from Victoria police, Nitschke said.

Nitschke said the detectives said they were unaware of the visit by AFP officers and that they told the woman they were concerned for her wellbeing.

A spokeswoman for the AFP said police had visited a residence in Victoria on 2 November regarding allegations of the attempted importation of a prohibited substance.

But she said the visit was not in response to any membership or support for any organisation.

“The AFP considers this matter finalised,” she said.

Nitschke said the woman had no plans to take her life but did want the ability to do so should her health deteriorate.

“She contacted me saying she’s feeling harassed and I can understand why,” he said.

He warned that seizures of the drug might lead the elderly to resort to other means to take their own lives.

An AFP spokesman said figures for the number of seizures of Nembutal would come from customs and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. But an immigration spokesman said people detected importing barbiturates illegally were referred to the AFP for any further action after the drugs had been seized.

Details on the number of seizures were not provided.

Last year Nitschke burned his medical registration and ended his career as a doctor so that he would be able to continue running euthanasia workshops, after the Medical Board of Australia determined he could not promote euthanasia while also working as a medical doctor and ordered that doing so would lead to him being deregistered.