A suicide activist is espousing dangerous ideas under the guise of compassion, says an opponent who knows him well.
Suicide proponent Philip Nitschke, director of Exit International, is the co-developer of a 3D printed suicide machine which can be shipped and assembled anywhere and that comes with a detachable coffin.
Rita Marker, an attorney and director of Patients Rights Council, says it's another story of Nitschke trying to make headlines for his lethal ideas, such as a standard suicide prescription for people who are 70 years and older.
"I think [Nitschke] might end up changing that because he just turned 70," she observes. "And he also feels that anyone - teenager or others - who have decided they want to die should be able to be helped to die."
Marker knows Nitschke's extremism quite well after debating him several times.
Asked the danger of the bizarre ideas expressed by Nitschke, Marker says it makes suicide advocates sound reasonable by suggesting guidelines.
"Because if you have somebody that's really, really far out," she says, "then you have, on the other side, people who are opposed to this, and then it makes those who are just suggesting 'death with dignity' seem the moderate middle. And that's where the problem is."
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