Media Release 27 October 2016
Family First NZ says that the police are absolutely correct to be investigating and shutting down the promotion of suicide in New Zealand, and especially the operations of Philip Nitschke.
“Nitschke promotes suicide, has left a trail of destruction, and is evidence of just how far some euthanasia advocates will take an assisted suicide law if it was ever introduced. Vulnerable people are being exploited by his agenda and the police need to protect NZ’ers from him. The suicide prevention messages will be completely undermined if he is not stopped,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
In 2014 Nitschke came under fire from two Australian suicide prevention organisations, Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute, after his involvement in the suicide of a physically healthy 45-year-old Australian man, Nigel Brayley. Complaints have also been made regarding the suicides of Erin Berg, a 39-year-old mother suffering from post-natal depression who died an agonizing death from euthanasia drugs; Lucas Taylor, a 26-year-old suffering from hidden depression; Gillian Clark, a 47-year-old who was undergoing medical tests; and Joe Waterman, a physically healthy 25-year-old, among others.
The 2015 Victorian state government inquiry into end-of-life choices found that young and physically healthy people were killing themselves using a drug recommended by euthanasia groups – the same drug being recommended in NZ. The majority of those suicides were young people who were physically healthy, but mentally ill.
A Wellington woman ended her life with Nembutal in 2008, after receiving advice on how to obtain it from Dr Nitschke. She was a life-member of EXIT and was suffering from depression, but was physically fit and not suffering a terminal illness. Australian Susan Potts was 89-years-old, fit, physically mobile, and by all accounts living a happy and enjoyable life; unencumbered by the illness and disease that plague many others her age. Nitscke met Susan before she died and admits to assisting her and ‘thousands’ of others to access the drug they need to kill themselves painlessly.
The Medical Board of Australia has imposed 25 strict conditions on Philip Nitschke, known as Doctor Death. The board believes he “presents a serious risk to public health and safety.”
“Nitschke defends the right of someone to take their own life, even when fit and healthy. New Zealanders reject this destructive message and the police are to be congratulated on exposing and removing this risk to vulnerable NZ’ers,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Nitschke’s promotion of euthanasia places large numbers of vulnerable people at risk – in particular those who are depressed, elderly, sick, disabled, those experiencing chronic illness, limited access to good medical care, and those who feel themselves to be under emotional or financial pressure to request early death.”