Dr Phillip Nitschke
Dr Phillip Nitschke

Ex-NT Chief Minister slams euthanasia advocate restrictions

A FORMER senior politician who introduced Australia's first voluntary euthanasia laws has described Medical Board of Australia conditions of registration imposed on Exit International head Dr Phillip Nitschke as like something out of North Korea.

Dr Nitschke has accepted 25 conditions on his ability to practice in a mediated settlement that concludes longstanding legal and tribunal proceedings.

He is out of Australia and unable to comment. The Medical Board of Australia has not commented on the matter beyond a media release outlining the agreement.

Dr Nitschke is renowned for his willingness to assist people to a humane death who want to end their life for medical or other reasons.

Should Dr Phillip Nitschke be allowed to help patients end their lives?

This poll ended on 03 November 2015.

Current Results

Yes - people have the right to live their lives or end them as they wish.

13%

Yes, but only under specific conditions, such as people with terminal illnesses.

5%

He should be allowed to offer advice if it's asked for, but no more.

1%

No. There are good intentions here, but the potential for misuse is too great.

6%

No. All life is sacred and no-one has the right to take it away, no matter what.

73%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Marshall Perron, who now lives on the Sunshine Coast, was Northern Territory Chief Minister when he introduced voluntary euthanasia legislation only to have it over turned by the Federal Government.

Mr Perron said conditions imposed on Dr Nitschke made him almost wonder if he was still in a western country in 2015.

"It's like something out of North Korea to have the board directing his behaviour to such an extent,'' he said.

"He can't talk to patients about suicide, he can't prescribe barbiturates, will have to undergo two years of board supervision and remove his name from books and videos he's authored.

"It's just bizarre. We have not heard the end of this story."

Mr Perron said Dr Nitschke was a hero to thousands of Australians who saw him as the only person willing to listen to their plight and respond.

"Exit International has many thousands of members across the world,'' he said. "They are not joining under duress. They are ordinary everyday citizens seeking information."

The 25 conditions imposed by the Board restrict the scope of Dr Nitschke's medical practice and are designed to stop him providing any advice or information to any patient or member of the public about how to commit suicide.

They stop him conducting workshops, distributing his Peaceful Pill Handbook or videos.

FamilyVoice Australia which describes itself as "a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom" however does not consider the restrictions go far enough.

Its Australia research officer Ros Phillips said it was a relief that Dr Nitschke would no longer be able to conduct his "suicide workshops" or provide specific advice to individuals on suicide methods.

"It is hard to see how any medical board could allow him to continue to practise medicine, even conditionally," she said.

"The Medical Board of Australia should send a much stronger message to doctors who want to go down the Nitschke path.

"His licence should be revoked."



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