Dr. Philip Nitschke has started recruiting the first of four New Zealand voluntary euthanasia advocates who will next year learn how to make a life-ending potion.
The workshop is to be held in Australia in May or June by Dr Nitschke. In Auckland he met about 10 people, including a 90-year-old man and a disabled woman, to discuss his workshop.
Dr Nitschke said he would talk to the group about euthanasia, where the law stood, what would happen at his workshops and the risks of getting the potion back into New Zealand.
“It’s important that I get to talk to everyone who is interested in participating in these workshops so they know exactly what they are getting themselves into.” Dr Nitschke said he would show 30 mostly healthy people, including four New Zealanders, how to create a “peaceful pill” which would allow them to end their lives – when they were ready.
The pill – actually a brownish barbiturate-based potion – is strong tasting and can kill within an hour, or minutes if taken with alcohol.
Dr Nitschke, who founded the voluntary euthanasia lobby group Exit Australia, said he hoped to hold a similar workshop in New Zealand if the Australian one went well.
He is a strong supporter of New Plymouth woman Lesley Martin, who was this week released from prison halfway through a jail term for trying to murder her ill mother.