Doctor to speak on assisted suicide

EUTHANASIA advocate Dr Philip Nitschke, who has invented a computer device that allows a seriously ill patient to kill themselves by answering a series of questions, will host a public meeting in Dublin this week.

Dr Nitschke’s Deliverance Machine, dubbed by euthanasia opponents as “the laptop of death”, automatically delivers a lethal dose of barbiturates if the correct answers are made.

Dr Nitschke, who runs Exit International, said the machine was designed for use in Britain where there was a recent relaxation of assisted suicide laws but could also be used in Switzerland where assisted suicide was lawful.

The Australian medic believes information on how seriously ill people could end their life should be freely available and that all adults should be prepared in case they become terminally ill.

He is expected to explain how his Deliverance Machine works when he hosts a public meeting at Seomra Spraoi in Dublin on Thursday afternoon. He is due to host another public meeting in Belfast on Saturday.

“Suicide is not a crime so we are making it clear that, if you plan ahead while you can, then, if things deteriorate, you have got that option,” he said.

While the public meetings are free and open to all, workshop attendance is restricted to over 50s of sound mind and the seriously ill.

Dr Nitschke said people who attended the workshops were mainly elderly people who were well.

However, the doctor, does not believe that the right of people to end their lives should be confined to the terminally ill.

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