Dr Death’s office raided in assisted suicide probe

The office of Philip Nitschke, the Australian pro-euthanasia campaigner known as Dr Death, has been raided by police as part of an investigation into a possible assisted suicide.

Reports say the lethal drug Nembutal was found during the search of properties linked to Dr Nitschke’s organisation Exit International in Melbourne, Victoria.

Dr Nitschke has previously come to Britain to demonstrate his suicide techniques.

When in the UK, Dr Nitschke told people where they could obtain Nembutal.

Queensland Police, who were responsible for carrying out the raids, confirmed they were part of an “ongoing investigation” but did not add further details.

Dr Nitschke has denied assisting in the death of a Brisbane man who died earlier this year.

Dr Nitschke said: “He had made contact with the organisation and was looking at options due to the quality of his life and towards ending his life at some stage.”

He continued that police were “suggesting we were involved in his death but we were not. We would never be actively involved in something like that, helping him end his life, which would be committing a crime.”

In recent months assisted suicide campaigners have distanced themselves from the work of Dr Nitschke.

Debbie Purdy, the assisted suicide campaigner, and Margo MacDonald, the MSP pushing for legalising assisted suicide in Scotland, have both denounced his methods.

Dr Michael Irwin, formerly the chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, said in May that Dr Nitschke’s behaviour was “totally irresponsible”.

Dr Nitschke’s suicide ‘workshops’ include in-depth exploration of different ways to commit suicide, including “the use of Helium (and other inert gases) and the ‘best’ end-of-life drug Nembutal.”

Last year, councillors in Bournemouth intervened to prevent a planned workshop in the area because of worries about the impact it could have on vulnerable people.

Exit International had said Bournemouth had been targeted because “there are lots of older people there”.

Bournemouth Councillor Pat Lewis said at the time: “The people and families concerned are the most vulnerable – this is very worrying.”

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