Doctor calls for change to Ireland's law on assisted suicide

A doctor who advocates assisted suicide is calling for a change in Irish law.

A doctor who advocates assisted suicide is calling for a change in Irish law.

Philip Nitschke is the head of Exit International, which provides information on assisted suicide and campaigns for the rights of people to make the decision on how and when they will die.

He also provided lethal injections to four people in Australia's Northern Territory, when it was briefly a legal practice in 1996.

He is to hold a workshop on the issue in Dublin today.

Aiding or abetting a person's suicide is illegal in Ireland, but Dr Nitschke said people in this situation are not "lawbreakers".

Dr Nitschke said: "If you're a person who has someone, or you are a close associate of someone, and they are desperately asking you to help them have that peaceful death and you act motivated by compassion and love, you should not be treated as a criminal and you certainly should not be sitting in front of a jury while they are deciding how you are going to spend the next decade.

"No, there needs to be changes to legislation so that in certain circumstances helping someone to die is not a crime."

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