An Australian doctor who promotes suicide as a way to die has introduced a new “peaceful pill” plan to advocates at a conference, touting the pill for its accessibility – and legality.
In a report on Canadian Television, Dr. Philip Nitschke of Exit International said that his plan allows for the self-appointed date with death he advocates.
“You can do everything yourself, acquire what you need, access what is ultimately the most peaceful way of a peaceful death,” he told those attending a Toronto conference.
“If you can manage things yourself you don’t break laws,” he said about the instructions in his book on the subject.
The book describes a lethal barbiturate concoction that acts by depressing the central nervous system, and observers say it appears similar to drugs used in the few countries where euthanasia is allowed.
In Australia, Nitschke is faced with a law that prohibits even giving how-to consultations on suicide and he has moved his group’s website to New Zealand to avoid that conflict. In Canada, a proposal to allow assisted suicide died at the conclusion of a recent Parliament, and in the United States, only one state, Oregon, now allows physicians to prescribe medications to be used for suicide.
The “self-help” idea earned some immediate opposition even from the right-to-die supporters.
Donald Babey of Dying with Dignity Canada said it doesn’t address the final solution of having physician assistance.
Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs have written extensively on the issue of suicide and euthanasia. In one interview former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said he believes euthanasia someday will dwarf the abortion industry.
It’s like letting a snake out of a basket, Focus said: Once it’s out, there’s no telling where it will slither.
Nitschke said, in a LifeSiteNews.com report, that volunteers with his organization donated several thousand dollars to assemble a lab at a New South Wales farm where they were able to put the drug into a crystalline form.
Nitschke, who has been discussing the concept of such a pill for several years, said 100 people already are waiting to use it.
Other Exit International recommendations have included a plastic bag over one’s head, a homemade unit to generate carbon monoxide, or use of large amounts of sleeping pills such as Nembutal, according to the group’s website.
On his website, Nitschke has posted a letter from Bob Dent, who was helped by Nitschke into the hereafter in 1996.
“The Church and state must remain separate. What right has anyone, because of their own religious faith (to which I don’t subscribe), to demand that I behave according to their rules until some omniscient doctor decides that I must have had enough and goes ahead and increases my morphine until I die?” he wrote at the end of his battle with cancer.
“If you disagree with voluntary euthanasia, then don’t use it, but don’t deny me the right to use it if and when I want to,” he wrote.
Focus analysts, however, argue that this was the same way that the Nazi extermination of groups of people began: first with the old and infirm, then the handicapped, and eventually entire blocks of people just because they belonged to that group.
In the U.S., Vermont at one point considered the “Death With Dignity Act” and California has reviewed a plan, but Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide plan has been approved by the courts.
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