Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The Australian news.com reported Philip Nitschke, Australia's Dr. Death, to have stated that approximately 300 people have hoarded a lethal drug that they have obtained from veterinary clinics and through mail orders.
Nitscke stated to the Australian news.com that:
"About 250 to 300 people have accessed the drug over the past decade, mostly in the past five years,"The article continues by stating that:
"They're people who are generally not unwell, but might have seen someone unwell and don't want it to happen to them."
According to a report published this week by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, 50 Australians, some in their 20s and 30s, have used Nembutal to commit suicide.
The report used data from the National Coroners Information System and of the 38 cases fully investigated by coroners, only 11 involved chronic physical pain or a terminal illness.
That the number reported by the institute is closer to 125.In a National Review article written by Kathryn Lopez in 2001, Lopez prints an interview with Nitschke who supports anyone dying by lethal overdose, even troubled teens. Nitscke stated:
He said that Exit occasionally provided information to people in their 20s on how to obtain the drug from Mexico.
My personal position is that if we believe that there is a right to life, and then we must accept that people have a right to dispose of that life whenever they want….
I do not believe that telling people they have a right to life while denying them the means, manner, or information necessary for them to give this life away has any ethical consistency. So all people qualify, not just those with the training, knowledge, or resources to find out how to 'give away' their life. And someone needs to provide this knowledge, training, or resource necessary to anyone who wants it, including the depressed, the elderly bereaved, the troubled teen. If we are to remain consistent and we believe that the individual has the right to dispose of their life, we should not erect artificial barriers in the way of subgroups that don't meet our criteria.Nitschke has consistently promoted suicide as an answer to the problems that people experience. At the World Federation of Right to Die Societies Conference in Toronto (2006) he stated that someone who is "Tired of Living" should simply be given a lethal overdose. This is a very callous way to view human life.
Is the person "Tired of Living" simply because we have made them feel like their life is not worth living. Society can abandon people to suicide or society can value all of its citizens, whether they are people with disabilities, elderly and lonely, or a troubled teen who needs support at a difficult time of life.
Kathryn Lopez's 2001 interview with Nitschke: http://www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/interrogatory060501.shtml
Link to my previous blog comment about Nitschke's promotion of Nembutal: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2009/03/suicide-by-mail.html