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Euthenasia group raided over suicide.

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POLICE raided the Melbourne offices of Dr Philip Nitschke's pro-euthanasia group Exit International over an alleged assisted suicide.

Victorian detectives seized documents in Doncaster, in Melbourne's east, related to the June death of 76-year-old Brisbane man Frank Ward, of Clayfield.

The raids were carried out on behalf of Queensland detectives from Hendra, in Brisbane's north.

Dr Nitschke today denied that he or his organisation had had anything to do with the man's death but admitted Mr Ward had spoken with Exit International about ending his life.

"They took files and documents from the database related to four people, including our office manager Lindy Body and the dead man," he said from San Francisco in the US, where he is giving lectures about euthanasia.

"They were suggesting we were involved in his death but we were not.

"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 was certainly ill.

"We would never be actively involved in something like that, helping him end his life, which would be committing a crime."

It is believed Mr Ward died on June 20 from inhaling helium, which is deadly if enough is inhaled because it causes loss of consciousness due to asphyxia (oxygen deprivation).

"It is a common and reliable way to obtain a quick and peaceful death, no drugs are required," Dr Nitschke said.

He criticised police for being "heavy-handed" and turning up to Exit International's offices unannounced saying they were "investigating a possible crime of aiding a suicide".

He said he had not been harassed by police in such a way since the 2002 death of Queensland woman Nancy Crick, 70, who suffered from a painful bowel condition and took the lethal drug Nembutal in front of 21 supporters.

Police conducted a long investigation but never laid any charges.

"We are not happy about it, it was unnecessary and it makes us uncomfortable, our office manager was in quite a state when she rang me," Dr Nitschke said of today's raid.

"We have always had quite an open policy in providing documents and co-operating with authorities.

"Queensland police are the ones that have a fixation here."

A Queensland police detective from Hendra said the branch had been instructed not to speak about the investigation because it was considered "highly sensitive" and traumatic for Mr Ward's family.

A Queensland police spokeswoman would not comment except to confirm that the search warrant in Melbourne had taken place.

A Doncaster detective said they were merely helping their Queensland counterparts.

Dr Nitschke is holding a series of `end of life choices' workshops in the US and was also banned from a Canadian government-run library last month.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided the homes of two terminally ill Victorians last year who travelled to Mexico with Dr Nitschke to bring back Nembutal.

He was the first medical doctor in the world to administer a lethal injection after the Northern Territory passed historic legislation in 1995 allowing voluntary euthanasia.

He assisted four people to die before the law was overturned and it is an offence to help anyone to commit suicide in all Australian states and territories.


Personally if you are not allowed to make your own decision about how and when you wish to die, then isn't that just another freedom that has been taken control of by the Authorities and religious fanatics.

I'm for any euthanasia that anyone wishes to undergo, fuck living in pain in a bed somewhere where no one gives a fuck anyways...people are way to attached to this world IMO.

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I definitely think that the fact a person cannot choose how or when to end their life is utterly fucking retarded! It's the same reason that prohibition is a stupid idea. People should have the right to do whatever they want with their body. End of story. I read a quote some time back that went something like this: From the skin outwards is controlled by religion and government. The skin and inwards is my territory alone.

Obviously in the cases of euthanasia, a lot of counseling and psychoanalytical work needs to be done prior. To make sure that the person has seriously thought about what they are doing. That it is not just a spur of the moment thing in a depressed state. I don't necessarily think the person needs to be terminally ill though. On docos that I have watched regarding this subject, some of the people are simply old. They have no medical complaints. They just feel they have achieved all they want in life, and that they would be happy to end it on their own terms. Or they would like to end their life at the same time as their partner. These are just as fair a claim as any in my opinion.

Two cents complete... Haha :P

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