In Australia, an alarming number of young people are killing themselves by taking a pill recommended by euthanasia groups. The drug, which is called Nembutal or the “peaceful pill”, took the lives of 120 people between July 2000 and December 2012. In 2011, the drug killed 24 people compared to nine in 2001 and in 2012 there were 17 deaths.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, of those who took the deadly drug, one included a person under the age of 20, 11 were in their 20’s and 14 were in their 30’s.
Although the majority of Nembutal deaths are comprised of people over 60, there has been a huge increase in this age group as well. Infamous euthanasia doctor, Phillip Nitschke, said that the new statistics prove that people feel comfort in knowing they can choose their own death.
As LifeNews previously reported, Dr. Nitschke, also known as “Dr. Death” was suspended from practicing medicine after the Australian Medical Board said he made clear errors in law. Apparently the doctor supported a man’s decision to commit suicide even though he wasn’t terminally ill and had obtained Nembutal illegally.
Dr. Nitschke actions clearly violate the 2009 Suicide Act, which states that ‘an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or an attempted suicide of another person is illegal, whether or not a suicide, or an attempt at suicide, occurs’. Unfortunately, earlier this month Australia lifted the doctor’s suspension on his medical license because a judge believed the Medical Board hadn’t supplied enough evidence to support his immediate suspension.
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Dr. Nitschke said he was facing 12 complaints to the Medical Board of Australia over the involvement of his organization, Exit International, in several deaths over the past decade. Last week, the Northern Territory Supreme Court found the board acted unlawfully in using emergency powers to suspend Dr. Nitschke’s medical license. The full case against him will be heard in November.
Dying with Dignity Victoria vice-president Rodney Syme said some of the deaths in younger age brackets could have involved people with incurable diseases who had obtained the drug.
“Intolerable and unrelievable suffering is not confined by age,” he said.
Dr. Syme, who has been obtaining Nembutal for terminally ill patients for more than 20 years, said he once handed the drug to a 30-year-old woman with incurable brain cancer, although the woman never used it and died four years later in palliative care.
In Australia, Nembutal is used by vets to euthanize animals. The coroner’s figures show that while in most cases the means of obtaining the drug were unknown, 20 people obtained the drug from overseas and 22 from a workplace.
Paul Russell of HOPE, an organization devoted to preventing euthanasia and assisted suicide, said the data was concerning and something suicide prevention organizations should be heeding.
“We need to find more effective ways of helping people [who] are feeling desperate from going to these clandestine organisations,” he said.
Over the past 10 years, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show there have been 2300 suicides a year on average, with people under 30 making up 22 per cent of all deaths.