PREMIER Mike Rann has joined anti-euthanasia lobbyists in condemning Dr Philip Nitschke's "dangerous and irresponsible" new death device.
The Advertiser revealed today that the 61-year-old Darwin doctor was promoting the device – components of which can be bought from hardware stores. Only 80 people attended the launch in Adelaide.
"I think it's extremely dangerous in terms of young people who might be potentially suicidal, or people who are dealing with serious depression,'' Mr Rann said. "I just think that Mr Nitschke gets publicity after publicity ... what we saw this morning, what he's talking about is dangerous and irresponsible."
Right to Life Australia president Marcel White said Dr Nitschke was not interested in helping sick and vulnerable Australians experiencing severe health difficulties, but was instead obsessed with self-promotion and outlandish stunts. "Nitschke is returning with a new gas chamber contraption which is both breathtakingly stupid and grossly irresponsible, two qualities we have come to expect from this doctor who trades in death," he said. "If the sum total of Nitschke's medical endeavors is proliferating slap-dash self-killing machines then perhaps he needs a more fulfilling hobby. "It remains a mystery why Nitschke is so enamoured with the idea of promoting suicide, but we certainly need the Government to step in and stop his traveling sideshow because it tears apart families and actually robs people of the peaceful death he is disingenuously promising.''
The new process makes use of ordinary household products including a barbecue gas bottle – purchased at an Adelaide hardware store yesterday morning – which is then filled with another gas which is readily available. Dr Nitschke has developed a process in which "patients" lose consciousness immediately and die a few minutes later.
If you are feeling depressed, lonely or have personal problems, you can get help at : Lifeline on 131 114, Sane on 1800 18 7263, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 or Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978 or log on to Beyond Blue here or phone 1300 224 636.