Enabling Suicide Should Always Be A Crime

Media Release 11 May 2018
Family First NZ is welcoming the decision in the Wellington High Court of the conviction and fining of Susan Austen who enabled a woman to commit suicide. Family First is now calling on the police to lay similar charges against Dr Philip Nitschke.

Family First is also calling on the Voluntary Euthanasia Society to return the donations of suicide victim Annemarie Treadwell. It is disturbing and ethically questionable that VES are profiting from aiding and abetting suicide and questions whether the case is more about coercion than compassion.

“The case shows that we should be very wary of groups and politicians calling for euthanasia laws. They propose a dangerous law, far wider than what they will publicly admit, based on the so-called right or choice of suicide to those who want it. The victim was a life-member of EXIT and was suffering from depression and arthritis but was physically fit and not suffering a terminal illness,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“It is disturbing that pro-euthanasia supporters are campaigning for importing a drug linked to assisting suicide.”

“It is completely right that our justice system should reject the promotion of suicide in New Zealand, but the police also need to turn their attention to the background 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.”

Last year, Nitschke was exposed for selling suicide kits disguised as equipment for home-brewing beer. No controls. Just a credit card required. Vulnerable people are being exploited by his agenda and the police need to protect NZ’ers from him and groups associated with him. The Medical Board of Australia has imposed 25 strict conditions on Nitschke who they rightly believepresents a serious risk to public health and safety”. 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.
ENDS

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