Australian right-to-die advocate Dr. Philip Nitschke is holding a workshop on voluntary euthanasia in Britain. “Dr. Death,” a moniker known to many Australians, sells euthanasia kits through his organization, Exit International, but he claims that no profit is made. Ironically, the doctor denies promoting euthanasia, despite having assisted in four suicides in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Dr. Nitschke’s 10-day workshop period transpires as Britain deliberates on the issue of assisted suicide. Amid the heated euthanasia debate, the British Director of Public Prosecutions released guidelines which determine when prosecution is unlikely in suicide cases just last month. This includes instances when the victim’s decision is “voluntary, clear, settled and informed,” and the person assisting acts wholly and compassionately.”
But how can killing with intention, even if it is consensual on behalf of the victim, be defined as compassionate?
Nitschke, against British public policy, shows people how to die. According to the 1961 Suicide Act, it is illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the suicide of another person. Nonetheless, Nitschke persists in his suicide-peddling, leaving the opportunity for even those not of lucid mind to end their lives. Although he supports the choice for those who are suffering to die well, he is also enabling suicide for the masses.