Wed, Nov 10, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Aussie `Dr. Death' to teach people suicide techniques

AP , CANBERRA

An Australian euthanasia advocate dubbed "Dr. Death" said yesterday he will hold a seminar to teach people how to make a deadly tablet to take their own lives.

Dr. Philip Nitschke said the seminar will be held at an undisclosed location next March -- before the federal Parliament is expected to pass legislation outlawing such a meeting. About 30 people from Australia, the US and New Zealand will attend the three-day workshop conducted by the euthanasia group he founded, Exit International, Nitschke told reporters.

Participants will learn how to blend products that can be bought in stores into a single deadly pill, Nitschke said, without revealing details of the recipe.

They will then go home and share the information with their own euthanasia networks through similar workshops, he said.

Nitschke said the workshop has to be held quickly because of a proposed new Australian law which would ban anyone from preparing material that informs others on how they can end their lives. Australia-based Exit International believes it is specifically targeted by the legislation, which would carry penalties of up to A$120,000 (US$90,800).

Nitschke expects the bill will be passed by late next year.

"It's going to make things pretty difficult. We'll certainly be moving our Web site offshore," Nitschke said. "But the way the legislation is worded, even preparing material to go on the Web site can attract a A$120,000 fine, it's very draconian."

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