‘Dr Death’ peddles assisted suicide in Dublin

A euthanasia activist dubbed ‘Doctor Death’ has hosted a workshop in Dublin on sourcing DIY suicide kits, it has been revealed.

Philip Nitschke, who boasts that he performed the world’s first assisted suicide by lethal injection, instructed attendees on how to buy poisons to end their own lives.

On the same visit to Ireland in November, the former medic told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Assisted Dying that it should permit any method of assisted suicide for anyone who has mental capacity.


Sky News reported that during the seminar Nitschke took a dozen people planning their suicides through his “practical steps for a DIY death”.

When asked by one lady how to get hold of the recommended poisons, the activist replied: “Illegally. That’s what the workshop will be about.”

He explained to attendees: “Now if I gave you the drug I’d be in an Irish prison quite quickly, I suspect.

“But if I tell you to go to this place and buy it, so far that’s not been considered to be a strong enough link to be in breach of Irish law.”

Suicide pods

In November, Nitschke promoted his own controversial ‘death pods’ before the Oireachtas Committee. The macabre invention, which is undergoing final trials for use in Switzerland, rapidly reduces the oxygen level inside the capsule by flooding it with nitrogen gas until the occupant is dead.

Last week, the US State of Albama was accused of “torture” after convicted murderer Kenneth Smith took 22 minutes to die through a similar method.

He reportedly shook and writhed for two minutes as his mask filled up with nitrogen, despite the state saying his death would be quick and painless.

Nitschke pushed Ireland to follow Switzerland’s so-called “rights-based” model, which merely requires a person to have mental capacity.

‘Better off dead’

Last month, Peter Kearns of the Independent Living Movement Ireland urged the same Committee to prioritise the “right to live” over the “right to die”.

Kearns warned that in other parts of the world where assisted suicide had been legalised, “disabled people frequently speak about feeling hopeless, ‘having nothing to live for’ or feeling they would be ‘better off dead’”.

Among those living with an impairment, he explained, many fear that their lives may be deemed “not worth living”.

He also encouraged the Committee “to be mindful of any discourse in relation to assisted dying that can trigger commentary with eugenic overtones”.

Also see:

Death pods marketed ahead of Scotland assisted suicide vote

Personal gas chambers – assisted dying the easy way

‘Dr Death’ selling home suicide kits online

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