Right-to-die doctor Philip Nitschke suspended after Perth widower's suicide

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 July, 2014, 11:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 July, 2014, 11:38pm


Prominent Australian right-to-die doctor Philip Nitschke yesterday vowed to continue giving advice on how to end life after the Australian Medical Board used emergency powers to suspend him.

Nitschke, who has campaigned on assisted suicide issues for more than a decade, was banned in a late-night sitting of the board on Wednesday.

The ruling, an interim measure pending the outcome of an inquiry, follows the suicide of Perth man Nigel Brayley, 45, who died in May after communicating with Nitschke.

Nitschke was accused of moving into uncharted territory by supporting the man despite knowing he was not terminally ill.

Brayley died after taking the drug Nembutal, which he illegally imported.

His life reportedly became difficult after the loss of his wife, Lina, who died in an accidental fall in 2001.

The medical board said Nitschke, the founder of euthanasia group Exit International, had a duty of care to recommend psychiatric help for Brayley.

Nitschke described the suspension as a "politically motivated deregistration" and told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation it was "clearly stupid" to claim he was a public safety risk.

Assisted suicide, or euthanasia, is banned in Australia although it was legal for a time in the Northern Territory before the law was overturned in the 1990s.