Plan to show euthanasia kit in NZ

Controversial Australian euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke is planning to demonstrate his euthanasia drug testing kit when he arrives in New Zealand next week.

Dr Nitschke is hoping to tour the country demonstrating his kit at public meetings and workshops.

The kit, developed by Dr Nitschke's company Exit, shows if the sample tested is a barbiturate and if it is of sufficient strength to provide a peaceful death at the time of one's choosing.

Speaking from Sydney, Dr Nitschke said that the kits had been developed when it was realised there was a growing need for a method of testing the euthanasia drugs acquired by the elderly and the sick.

"Larger numbers of people are now acquiring the euthanasia drug Nembutal from a variety of uncertain sources so that they have access to this lethal drug should their health deteriorate.

"This often leads to anxiety over the efficacy of the drug they have obtained, especially if it has been stored for some time -- and the test kits will go a long way towards addressing this concern."

Too often people did not bother to learn about ways to kill themselves and then, when they found themselves desperate, would beg for someone to help them, he said.

"While the act of ending your life is not a crime, heaven help anyone that might assist.

"Until the New Zealand government has the courage to change the laws that outlaw 'assistance' we will continue to urge the sick and elderly to plan ahead so that the involvement of others is not necessary."

During the workshops, that begin next Wednesday in Auckland, Dr Nitschke will give information on ways to obtain the euthanasia drug Nembutal and the use of the Nembutal Test Kit; access to lethal prescription drugs; and the use of inert gas to provide a reliable and legal death.

- NZPA

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