Nitschke under investigation yet again

Xavier Symons
12 Jul 2014
Reproduced with Permission

Pro-euthanasia campaigner Phillip Nitschke is being investigated for his involvement in the death of 45 year old West Australian man. The Medical Board of Australia is concerned that Nitschke advised Mr. Nigel Brayley to commit suicide without first suggesting formal psychiatric assessment. It appears Brayley was suffering from depression after the death of his wife and loss of his job in the mining industry.

In an interview with the ABC, Nitschke said Brayley was "not at the level" of severe depression.

Others are doubtful. "[Nitschke] gravely misinterprets how life events figure in depressive decision making", said Monash bioethicist Paul Biegler . "Stresses such as job loss, money trouble, relationship breakdown and indeed criminal investigation figure in two-thirds of depressive episodes".

At the time of Brayley's suicide police were investigating his wife's death as a possible murder.

Beyond Blue chairman Jeff Kennett was furious at Nitschke. "I was appalled…

what I can't understand is a medical professional actually supporting them to go out ... to leave us", Kennett said.

The Australian Medical Board refused to comment on the matter.