May 24, 2024

Nitschke keeps on pressing those buttons

Now it is live-streamed suicides

Philip Nitschke in front of a marquee advertising “A Time to Die”, a documentary about his work 

The ever-controversial Australian Dr Philip Nitschke, has ratcheted up his reputation for ghoulish euthanasia activism, by offering live-streamed suicides for members of his association, Exit International.

He told the media that he is trialling a new, easily-obtained lethal medication which people can use to kill themselves. In the past he has normally recommended the barbiturate Nembutal, but this is difficult to obtain legally and supplies from illegal suppliers are sometimes contaminated or under-strength.

His life-streaming service gives him an opportunity to see whether his mysterious new drug really works as well as he believes. He has already witnessed the deaths of two Australians who killed themselves in May, both in Brisbane. Nitschke is currently living in the Netherlands.

“This is all very new,” Dr Nitschke told AAP. “Some people who have been planning to take this step have been very generous. They do not mind having their deaths observed because they are aware that we are very keen to get good information.”

The new drug is promising, he said. “These substances are available and they are legal, you don't need to be approved, and you don't need a prescription. You are not doing anything illegal to obtain it.”

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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