A terminally ill woman is to chart her suicide on the internet. ‘‘I’ve lost almost all of my teeth, energy and, most importantly, the will and desire to live,’’ said Australian great-grandmother Nancy Crick, 70.
On her website - which was set up by friends and pro-euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke - she wrote that she is frightened of a future filled with pain and indignity and will keep an internet diary of her final days.
Dr Nitschke, Australia’s most vocal euthanasia advocate, said today that Mrs Crick, who lives with her son on Queenland’s Gold Coast, had not set a date for her death, but that she had acquired lethal drugs.
‘‘She can end her life at any time, but she wants to leave it as long as she can,’’ he said. ‘‘The thing that particularly annoys her is the fact that if she does do this, she has to be alone.’’
Mrs Crick said she was diagnosed with bowel cancer three years ago and has gone from being an ‘‘active, vital, healthy woman to 59 pound shell".
‘‘This type of future would not be visited on a pet or farm animal. Compassionate vets will not let this happen; they gently euthanise our animals. Why then is it so unreasonable to expect compassionate doctors to do the same for human beings?’’
Under Queensland state law, anyone who helps a person to commit suicide can be prosecuted.
Dr Nitschke said Crick would like to have her family present for her final moments.
‘‘This particular piece of legislation says that you can’t even sit with the person if they are taking the legal step to end their life for fear that may be interpreted by a prosecutor that your presence is providing some tacit support and therefore assistance,’’ he said.
Dr Nitschke performed euthanasia on four people in 1996 when Australia’s Northern Territory briefly legalised mercy killing.