With Independent MP Bob Such's Ending Life with Dignity bill creating such a huge discussion in parliament, it's only timely that Australia's first euthanasia clinic should also be discussed. Dr Philip Nitschke, voluntary euthanasia campaigner and Exit International director, confirmed that by November 24 the clinic and laboratory will be open.
However, he is quick to clarify that the clinic will not be a place for people to die. It will offer virtual internet consultations, productive and concrete advice about euthanasia, information, and distribute nitrogen kits. There will of course be some amount of education on the topic to be supplied by the facility.
"Testing drugs to give people accurate information about what will happen if they are consumed is an important medical service and entirely consistent with the principals of harm minimization," Dr Nitschke added.
This is especially timely as the aforementioned bill will ask for to give a limited number of competent, responsible and informed adults the right to make choices about the time and manner of their death. It will be made available to those who are in the final phase of a terminal illness and who are suffering from excruciating physical pain.
It also makes sure that people who would request for euthanasia be provided humane medical assistance to accelerate the dying process and that the administration of euthanasia is subject to safeguards and custody. This will also take account the need for two medical opinions before being approved for the process.
Dr Nitschke, also known as Dr Death internationally, has always been an advocate of dying with dignity. He has admitted to being under investigation by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency in an attempt to ascertain his suitability to practice medicine.
The very nature of the procedure has always been a gray area-should the choice of dying be left to the person most involved, the health care physicians or leave everything up to biology? Whether or not the clinic will continue to open on its designated debut on November 21 will remain to be seen. The clinic will be located in Adelaide.
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