Healthy people can take own life: Nitschke

Euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke said he believed healthy people of sound mind, who were mature enough, should have the right to take their own lives if that's what they wanted, ''otherwise it effectively disregards and disrespects their views.''

Nitschke made the comments after saying he doubts he will be charged following the death of a healthy woman who took her life in New Zealand.

AAP reports the 68-year-old woman took her life using advice she had obtained from Nitschke's group Exit International.

The woman who killed herself in her Wellington home, has used drugs she smuggled in from Mexico.

A friend claimed the woman had been depressed, and said people must be aware that such incidents could stem from Nitschke's euthanasia campaign.

Nitschke denied she had been depressed and had simply exercised her desire to end her life in March 2006.

He added hundreds of his group's members had committed suicide in the past decade, but only one to two per cent were in good physical health.

Nitschke said he did not expect to be charged over the woman's death because it was unlikely that providing information to a person amounted to assisting them to commit suicide.

A spokesman for New Zealand Police agreed charges would be unlikely.

"They would have to prove that he was responsible for her death and I think that would be pretty difficult," he said.

Healthy have right to end life: Nitschke (AAP 04/02/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Exit International
Dr Philip Nitschke (Wikipedia)

Euthanasia book ban ineffective: Qld priest (CathNews 16/01/07)

5 Feb 2008