Euthanasia Advocate Philip Nitschke May Move to United States From Australia

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Euthanasia Advocate Philip Nitschke May Move to United States From Australia

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 4
, 2009

London, England ( — Australian euthanasia and advocate Philip Nitschke is considering moving to the United States after British immigration officials rejected his application to move there. Known as the "Doctor Death" of Australia and New Zealand, Nitschke would pose additional problems for pro-life advocates in the U.S.

Because of the limits Australia has placed on his attempt to import assisted suicide drugs and promote euthanasia on the Internet, Nitschke has been looking for new stomping grounds.

Britain has been his first choice but, after officials there detained him for nine hours over the weekend, he told The Australian that the United States is his next option.

"That looks unlikely now, because after that reception I guess the British will be less likely to let me stay," he said. "I’m not sure, but we might be forced to move to the US, which still has freedom of speech and increasingly looks like a less hostile environment."

Nitschke told the newspaper that immigration officials appeared to have a file on him of press clippings and other materials.

"I don’t know if it’s the Australian Government, but clearly someone was behind it because they had a lot of material, like press cuttings and letters, from people who oppose us with fundamental Christian-based material," he told the newspaper.

Ultimately, British authorities permitted him to enter the country, but only for the seven days he initially requested. He hopes to increase the number of members of his pro-euthanasia group, Exit International, from its current total of 100 to 200.

Should Nitschke decide to move to the United States, he won’t receive a good reception from pro-life advocates, disability rights campaigners and bioethicists like Wesley J. Smith, who has been one of Nitschke’s biggest opponents.

"Poor Philip Nitschke, so unliked, misunderstood, and unwanted," Smith writes, talking about some of his recent exploits.

"Here he is on a mission of mercy to permit old people to take Mexican animal euthanasia drugs if they are tired of life and to ensure that troubled teens have access to the ‘peaceful’ suicide pill in grocery stores," Smith adds.

"He counseled Nancy Crick on suicide and lied to the media saying she was terminally ill. He imported and sold plastic suicide bags, but was stopped by the Australian authorities after yours truly busted his little enterprise," Smith recalls.

"He travels from Australia, to New Zealand, and thence to the UK holding how to commit suicide classes, being fawned over by media, but he’s still not happy. And now, when he was willing to bring his compassion and talents to the UK, he apparently got a poor reception. So now he wants to live in the USA," Smith concludes. "This guy pushes suicide for anyone who wants it. He is not welcome here, either."

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