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Philip Nitschke - wikidoc

Philip Nitschke

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Philip Nitschke (born 1947) is an Australian medical doctor, Humanist and founder of the pro-euthanasia group Exit. He successfully campaigned to have a legal euthanasia law passed in Australia's Northern Territory and assisted four people in ending their lives before the law was overturned by the Federal government.

Since then, he has provided advice to others who have ended their lives, mostly notably Nancy Crick, aged 69. On May 22, 2002, Crick, with over a dozen friends and family (but not Nitschke) present, took a lethal dose of barbiturates and went quickly to sleep and died within 20 minutes. Nitschke had suggested Nancy Crick was suffering from a recurrence of her bowel cancer. Most of his criticism for this case came after it was revealed that Nancy Crick was not terminally ill at all.

In January 2007 he published the controversial book The Peaceful Pill Handbook, which was prohibited by federal censorship regulator, the Office of Film and Literature Classification (Australia) at the end of February 2007 [1]. The book was banned in New Zealand on 8 June 2007 by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, not because it advocates for euthanasia but because it gives instructions on drug manufacture and other crimes.[2]

He has been criticized for his stance on euthanasia, and for creating and providing devices to aid people who want euthanasia, including a simple plastic bag with an elasticized opening called an "exit bag", designed to suffocate the user. He caused controversy in New Zealand when he announced plans to accompany eight New Zealanders to Mexico and help them purchase the potentially life-ending drug Nembutal.[3]

In 1998, Nitschke was recognised as the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies.


  1. "The Peaceful Pill Handbook Refused Classification upon review" (pdf). Classification Review Board. 2007-02-24. p. 1. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  2. "The Peaceful Pill Handbook Banned". OFLC. 2007-06-11. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. "NZ offered Mexican Suicide Drug Trip". The Age. 2007-02-06. Check date values in: |date= (help)

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