Rational Suicide: Dr Philip Nitschke in Darwin, Australia to show people how to end their lives…

 

Nan Maitland.

From NTNews, Australia

FORMER Northern Territory voluntary euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke is back in Darwin to teach Territorians how to “practically, peacefully and reliably” end their lives.

Dr Nitschke, who now lives in the Netherlands, helped four patients end their lives in the NT before the law allowing him to do so was overturned in 1997.

The workshop in Lyons on Saturday is one of 10 to be held around Australia and will give the elderly and terminally ill advice on how to buy, store and use drugs or gases to kill themselves.

“It’s a very practical guide on peacefully and reliably ending your life,” Dr Nitschke said.

He acknowledged the workshops were controversial, but said there had been minimal opposition to them in the Territory.

“Territorians are by and large much more amenable to the idea (of voluntary euthanasia) than people down south,” he said.

“There’s always opposition in Sydney and Melbourne – usually from religious groups – and from people who say it upsets politicians and lowers the chances of having laws passed.”

Dr Nitschke said he didn’t buy the argument that teaching people how to end their lives led to higher suicide rates.

“We have thousands of 75-year-old members who want to have the drugs in the cupboard, and feel a whole lot happier when they do and when they’re happier, they live longer and better lives,” he said.

Dr Nitschke said he believed legislation in the works for Victoria would pass this year, which could lead to the repeal of the federal legislation which prevents the NT and ACT from allowing the practice.

But, any legislation would likely be “extremely conservative” and require those wishing to die to “jump through hoops” to prove their eligibility to end their lives, he said.

While in Darwin, Dr Nitschke will also attend the Casuarina screening of Fade to Black, a film documenting the final six months of Peter Short’s life as he lobbied politicians to give the terminally ill the right to die.
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