FCC club lunch with Dr Philip NITSCHKE
Speaker: Dr Philip NITSCHKE (PhD MD)
Director, Exit International
Topic: Euthanasia in Asia: the need for an exit plan
Can the elderly – as well as the seriously ill – be lawfully entitled to a peaceful death at a time of their choosing? Dr. NITSCHKE will share his views on the controversial issue of voluntary euthanasia, and also on legislative change in Asia and individual choice.
Depending upon the research, it is estimated that 20% of China’s population will be aged over 65 years by the middle of this century. As in the west, the major power houses of Asia face a graying of their population and with it the challenges that brings. In the west an ageing country means not only more seniors but more health issues across the population. Dr. NITSCHKE feels that in general terms we are living longer but sicker lives, and that we are more likely to die after prolonged periods of chronic illness and disease. He further notes that we are more likely to experience care in an institutional environment, and we are more likely to be kept alive thanks to the miracles’ of modern medicine.
We must therefore ask, we may be living longer but are we living better? This desire for information about the nuts and bolts of life and death is a significant and growing trend. The legal questions that remain are numerous.
Philip NITSCHKE is the Founder and Director of Exit International, a world-leading assisted suicide / voluntary euthanasia information and advocacy organization. Dr NITSCHKE came to public attention in 1996 when he became the first doctor in the world to administer a legal, lethal voluntary injection under Australia’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act.
He is the author of two books – Killing Me Softly: Voluntary Euthanasia and the Road to the Peaceful Pill (Penguin 2005) and The Peaceful Pill eHandbook. Philip holds a PhD in physics from Flinders University and is a graduate of the Sydney University Medical School.