Australia

Doctor claims elderly targeted in euthanasia drug raids

Dr Philip Nitschke. Source: AAP

Dr Philip Nitschke says eight Australian members of his euthanasia group have been subjected to police raids for importing drugs to end their lives.

Police have raided the homes of elderly Australians, demanding they hand over illegally imported euthanasia drugs, right-to-die campaigner Philip Nitschke says.

Dr Nitschke, dubbed Australia's Dr Death, says eight members of his euthanasia group Exit International have been targeted by police in the past two weeks.

One member was told officers had the names of 100 people who would get a knock on the door for illegally bringing death drugs into the country, the euthanasia advocate said.

Dr Nitschke says the action is unwarranted and distressing, even though he admits such importations are against the law.

"We see elderly people getting these drugs, they stop worrying about end-of-life choices, and they actually live longer," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"To implement some rather foolish policy of trying to run around and intercept and confiscate these drugs does nothing more than increase the level of anxiety, and concern and distress amongst these people."

He said "local" police had told elderly people they were acting on intelligence shared by the Australian Federal Police, Interpol, and the US Department of Homeland Security.

"Police ... are saying 'we have found out, usually from some interception of email traffic, that you've done this, and we want you to hand over the drugs," Dr Nitschke said.

"They are claiming they are doing wellness checks, to make sure that you're a person who isn't in danger of ending your own life."

AAP is seeking comment from the AFP, and Victorian and NSW police.

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