'Doctor Death' to advise elderly on how to take their own lives
Published 19/03/2010 | 05:00
A EUTHANASIA advocate dubbed 'Doctor Death' plans to hold a workshop here today where elderly people will be advised on ways to take their own lives.
Dr Philip Nitschke, who runs Exit International, which informs people how to end their own lives, had been planning to hold the controversial workshop in four separate Dublin venues.
But management at two community resource centres yesterday cancelled bookings, after receiving a flood of objections.
"In the space of five hours (yesterday), we had no fewer than two venues cancel bookings which is quite extraordinary," said Dr Nitschke.
Two other venues in Dublin have also cancelled in recent weeks, but Dr Nitschke said last night that the event will take place today at Seomra Spraoi, an autonomous social centre in the capital.
The 62-year-old, from Darwin, was the first doctor in the world to administer lethal injections to end four patients' lives after voluntary euthanasia was made legal in the Northern Territory of Australia in 1996.
"We've had occasional venues cancelled, but to have four cancel as we've had here in Dublin is something we've never experienced before," he said. "It's disappointing because the idea of trying to control an idea that you don't like and removing the venue is one of the worst forms of censorship and we haven't seen it before."
He said that around 30 people expressed an interest in attending a public meeting on the issue.
"The meeting is where we explain to people why we think it makes sense to learn exactly what they need to know should they wish to obtain a peaceful death. Then, as happened in London, people are invited to stay on if interested in these practicalities."
In London on Monday, participants were charged €35 for the workshop at which a new 'peaceful pill' was promoted, which Exit International claims can kill painlessly.