'Dirty midnight assassination': Nitschke lashes out at medical licence suspension

Euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke has hit out at the Medical Board of Australia's decision to suspend his medical licence, calling it a "dirty midnight assassination".

Philip Nitschke has vowed to fight the Medical Board of Australia's decision to suspend his medical licence.

He has accused the Medical Board of Australia of "outdated medical paternalism", saying he is a victim of a political campaign.

"Regardless of what I said, it seems the Board was seeking to carry out their dirty little midnight assassination aimed at silencing me and stifling discussion on this important social topic," he told reporters in Adelaide. 

The Medical Board of Australia made the decision effective from midnight last night, using emergency powers under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Act.

The Board said it had made the decision to immediately suspend Nitsche because he posed “a serious risk to public health and safety that needs to be managed", adding that he had abrogated his responsibilities as doctor with his belief that people have a right to choose suicide.

In the mean time, the board says an exhaustive inquiry in Nitschke's conduct will continue.

Nitschke said he will continue running his end-of-life workshops, with five workshops in Australia slated to go ahead. 

"I will continue to provide end-of-life workshops to the growing number of elderly Australians who want this information.

"....The medical board's decision is a case of trying to close a stable door after the end-of-life choices free speech horse has well and truly bolted."

Nitschke took to Twitter after the Board's decision, tweeting a picture of himself taking a drink to mark the end of his 25 year career as a doctor.

The Board said the death of Nigel Brayley was a key factor in the decision.

The 45-year-old died after taking euthanasia drug Nembutal because he feared he would be charged with his wife's murder.

He had attended an Exit International workshop about three months prior and purchased the banned Peaceful Pill eHandbook, written by Dr Nitschke.

Dr Nitschke says it was a "a clear case of rational suicide" and supported My Brayley's right for access to the information and drugs.

Dr Nitschke, who was notified of the suspension at about 10pm on Wednesday night, told AAP he will appeal the decision.

"This is to my mind a clear case of a difference in ideology leading to a suspension. In other words it's a political suspension," Dr Nitschke told AAP on Thursday.

"We have a right to appeal and we'll certainly be doing that."

- with AAP

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

3 min read
Published 24 July 2014 at 7:38am
Source: World News Australia