The extraordinary life of Australia's most controversial doctor.
This is the revealing, personal story of the man behind the controversial pro-euthanasia movement, told in his own words. Medical doctor, humanist, author and founder/director of Exit International, Philip Nitschke's life has always been in the spotlight.
The book spans Philip's early days, from his curious, activist student days in Adelaide, to working with Aboriginal land rights groups in Australia's Far North; to his successful campaign to have euthanasia legalised in Australia and his assistance in four people ending their lives before the law was overturned.
It covers the controversy surrounding Philip's work, including the banning in Australia of his international bestselling book The Peaceful Pill, and disturbing reports that many young people overdosed on Nembutal, the drug that Exit International recommends for suicide.
Ultimately, Philip believes that the right to one's own death is as fundamental as the right to control one's own life: 'It seems we demand humans to live with indignity, pain and anguish whereas we are kinder to our pets when their suffering becomes too much.'
About the Author
Dr. Philip Nitschke is the founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International Dr Philip Nitschke, PhD, MBBS, BSc (Hons) is the Founder and Director of Exit International. In 1996, Philip became the the first physician in the world to administer a legal, lethal voluntary injection under the short-lived Rights of the Terminally Ill Act of the Northern Territory in 1996. Four of Philip's terminally ill patients used this law to end their suffering before the law was overturned in March 1997 by the Australian Parliament. Born in 1947 in rural South Australia, Philip studied physics at the University of Adelaide, completing a PhD at Flinders University in laser physics in 1972. Rejecting a career in the sciences, Philip instead traveled to the Northern Territory to take up work with the Aboriginal land rights activist, Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji at Wave Hill. After the hand-back of land by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, Philip became a NT Parks and Wildlife ranger. A serious accident to his foot saw Philip return to university, graduating from Sydney University Medical School in 1988.