Thursday, July 3, 2014

Nitschke aids suicide of healthy depressed man.

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alex Schadenberg
ABC News in Australia reported that euthanasia promoter, Philip Nitschke, is being questioned for his involvement in the suicide death of Nigel Brayley (45) who died in May 2014 after ingesting a lethal dose of a veterinary drug that was illegally imported into Australia.

According to ABC News, Nitschke, who promotes euthanasia and sells suicide manuals and devices via the internet, admitted to aiding Brayley's suicide:
In emails obtained by the ABC, Mr Brayley admitted to Dr Nitschke he was not "supporting a terminal medical illness", but said he was "suffering". 
Now Dr Nitschke is being accused of moving into uncharted territory by agreeing to assist Mr Brayley despite knowing he was not terminally ill. 
AUDIO: Listen to PM's report (PM) 
"If a 45-year-old comes to a rational decision to end his life, researches it in the way he does, meticulously, and decides that ... now is the time I wish to end my life, they should be supported. And we did support him in that," he said.
The circumstances related to Brayley's suicide death are also concerning. The article stated:
friends Kerry and Trish O'Neil could see Mr Brayley's life spiraling out of control after the death of his wife Lina, who died at a local quarry in 2011 in what was at first thought to be an accident. 
The case was upgraded to a murder inquiry, and while police never named Mr Brayley as a suspect, he told the O'Neils the investigation and the loss of his job had made him depressed. 
In the weeks before his death he told Dr Nitschke that he planned to take his own life. 
"We had a lot of communication with Nigel, he'd been in touch with us for a while, he'd joined the organisation," Dr Nitschke said.
Kerry O'Neill, expressed concern that Nitschke didn't refer his friend to a psychiatrist for help.

Jeff Kennett, the former premier of Victoria Australia, who supports euthanasia in certain cases, is the chairman of the depression support group, Beyond Blue, agreed with O'Neill. Kennett stated on Twitter:
"Dr Nitschke [had] gone too far in assisting a 45-year-old man to die, who was not suffering a terminal illness, was not in pain and was not living his life without personal dignity," he said. 
"Nitschke said it was not his responsibility to refer the [man] to other medical practitioners for help. 
"He has violated his Hippocratic Oath and damaged his cause."
The ABC news article also reported on a similar case in January 2014, whereby Joe Waterman (25) killed himself after purchasing a suicide manual from Nitschke's website. According to the story, Nitschke limits access to his suicide manual by asking people whether they are 50. Waterman simply ticked the box that he was 50 to gain access to the suicide manual.

Mary Waterman, Joe's mother, stated that her son was depressed and accessed the suicide manual through the internet.

Nitschke referred to Waterman as a liar, for lying about his age, but Mary Waterman said:
"Joe was a liar but of course you're going to lie if you want to get something, if you're suicidal and you want to get something that's going to help you die peacefully." 
"It's still unbelievable and it's been nearly six months," she said. "It's like a bad dream really, I still find it really hard to imagine life without him."
Nitschke has established a lucrative business selling memberships to his euthanasia group, selling suicide instruction manuals and suicide devices via the internet.

In February 2010, I reported that the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine examined 51 deaths in Australia who died after ingesting a lethal veterinary drug. The report found:
of the 51 people who were known to have died from the drug, 6 people were in their 20's, 8 people were in their 30's, 5 people were in their 40's, 14 people were in their 50's, 3 people in their 60's, 10 in their 70's, and 5 people were over the age of 80. 
Further to that, the report found that of the 38 known deaths that were investigated by a coroner, only 11 had a significant physical illness or chronic pain with the remaining 27 cases showing no signs of physical problems. 
The report suggested that the 27 otherwise healthy people who died from the drug were most likely depressed or mentally ill.
Paul Russell, the founder of HOPE Australia, called for a national inquiry into the suicide industry that has been established by Philip Nitschke.

One of the most read articles on euthanasia and assisted suicide is: Nitschke continues to promote lethal drugs over the internet.

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