Monday, September 20, 2010

Were Robert Miller and James Robertson influenced by Philip Nitschke?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Philip Nitschke, Australia's Dr. Death, has been involved with counseling and providing information in connection to suicide deaths on a world-wide basis.

Nitschke is known for creating and promoting suicide devices. When I attended the World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference in Toronto in September 2006, I witnessed Nitschke demonstrating a device to regulate the flow of helium from a tank.

This story of Robert Miller and James Robertson in the UK from the report from the Times Online from June 14, 2010; describes the case. The story reported:

A key issue for detectives will be whether Robert Miller and James Robertson were influenced by Philip Nitschke, the Australian medic nicknamed Dr Death. Dr Nitschke, who founded the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, is also the inventor of the “deliverance machine”, a syringe linked to a laptop that can administer a lethal injection.

Dr Nitschke said that he created the device to allow those wishing to take their own life to initiate the process instead of relying on a doctor. A needle is inserted into the arm of the patient before he or she answers questions on the laptop. It is made clear that if they choose the final option they will be injected with a lethal barbiturate.

Last year Dr Nitschke toured Britain giving suicide workshops to the elderly. Although those attending had to be over 50, there are fears that his information is being accessed by the young, the vulnerable, and the mentally ill.

The presence of a webcam in the hotel room where they died will also raise concerns that they may have been followers of suicide chat rooms, where people discuss their fantasies about killing themselves. Such sites attract “suicide voyeurs”.
Link to the June 14, 2010 article in the UK Times online:

I believe in free speech, but guys like Nitschke are dangerous and they don't care who dies from their ideology. 

Nitschke is planning a North American tour starting on October 7, 2010.

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