Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grieving Family Wants Suicide Book Banned

Now that I am getting caught up on my work after vacation and speaking in Winnipeg, I found in my inbox an article that was written about the family of Erin Berg, who are attempting to get the book "Killing Me Softly" banned in Australia.

Philip Nitschke, Australia's Dr. Death and the leader of Exit International, is now being challenged by the family of Erin Berg (39) who was a mother of 4 children (under 9 years old) flew to Mexico and bought Nembutal, after reading Nitschke's book: "Killing Me Softly".

Nembutal is a veterinary drug that is used to put down sick animals.

It appears that Berg was undergoing psychiatric treatment for post-natal depression when she borrowed the book (Killing Me Softly) from a public library and found in it the information that led her to fly to Tijuana Mexico to purchase the Nembutal.

Information from Nitschke's website and workshops show that Nitschke has promoted Nembutal as a euthanasia drug for a long time.

Berg had contacted Nitschke four months before she traveled to Mexico to obtain Nembutal. Nitschke states that Berg did not qualify for assisted suicide and that her death is a tragedy.

Berg's family strongly disagrees with Nitschke's cavalier attitude.

Sally Doyle, Berg's older sister, shows that Erin Berg's actions were identical to the information provided in Nitschke's book "Killing Me Softly".

Doyle said the book:
"included information on the "best" drug for the purpose (Nembutal), the best place to find it legally (vet stores in Mexico), how best to consume it (swallowed, with alcohol)"

Doyle further said:
"at the end of the path was a loaded gun, provided courtesy of Philip Nitschke. It wasn't intended specifically for Erin, but it was there for her to use regardless."

Doyle also warned that the guarantee by Nitschke's book that Nembutal is a reliable and pain-free way to die is not correct. Doyle said:
"As someone who watched Erin die a long death in a country a long way from home, we can say with some clarity that such guarantees should be treated with suspicion."

In the Exit International newsletter from March 2008 it states:
"Exit can now say with 100 percent confidence that Nembutal is widely, cheaply and legally available ... one only needs to know the location of a veterinary supplier and the labeling in use at that location."

Last June, Caren Jenning was convicted of accessory to manslaughter in the death of Graeme Wylie. Wylie died after his partner Shirley Justins gave Wylie Nembutal that was obtained in Mexico by Jenning.
Wylie had late stage Alzheimer disease. Nitschke supported the death of Wylie as an act of self-determination.

Link to my Blog commentary:

Doyle stated that:
"the family is still awaiting a response to the request for the book to be banned. They also hoped that customs officials in Australia and countries like Mexico would become more alert in detecting the smuggling of drugs like Nembutal."

A spokesperson for the attorney general stated that the matter was:
"still under consideration and we hope to have a response soon."
Link to article:

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