The daughter of a depressed New Zealand man, who died by suicide with the help of the pro-euthanasia and pro-suicide organisation, EXIT International, spoke to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon this morning. The organisation was in the news in October after police set up a controversial checkpoint to talk to people who attended an EXIT meeting in Lower Hutt.
The man had successfully managed his depression for almost 30 years, until he left New Zealand. He had Type II diabetes which was managed well and has had cardiovascular surgery from which he recovered well, but he was not terminally ill. After his first and second suicide attempts, he told his daughters that he did no longer want to die and was accessing support.
The woman, who is remaining anonymous, does not believe her father would have taken his life if it wasn’t for EXIT’s information. She raised the alarm at the ease at which he was able to access the lethal drugs.
“The drug believed to have been used… is the same implicated in dozens of cases of suicide in Australia over the years which were found not to have involved deteriorating health or physical pain, ” Kathryn Ryan said.
Towards the end of October a retired teacher from Hutt Valley was charged with two counts of importing this same drug into New Zealand.
The founder of EXIT, Philip Nitschke, said in a TedX talk in September that “suicide is a fundamental human right and not a medical privilege to be conferred on the terminally ill.”
“When he [Philip Nitschke] first started he was campaigning for a law that created voluntary euthanasia for those who are terminally ill and as times gone by he just seems to have gone away from that original mission,” the man’s daughter said. “Now he’s just willing for anybody who wishes to end their life should be allowed to… I don’t believe that’s doing anybody any favours, particularly the people who are fighting for voluntary euthanasia. Makes it look like a joke. It makes me so mad that he’s hailed as a hero and he’s not. He’s not a hero at all.”
“This timely story demonstrates that EXIT is not merely an organisation that debates whether euthanasia and assisted suicide should be legalised,” said Renee Joubert, Executive Officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ. “EXIT provides detailed information on how to end one’s life by suicide and how to obtain the means to do so.”
If you or someone you know is in distress, please phone Lifeline at 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 543 354).