Fiji eyes proposal for assisted suicide

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THE Fijian government is considering a proposal to open a euthanasia clinic where seriously ill Australians and others could go to die. 


Australian euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke has proposed a “hastened death service” in Nadi which would operate like the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, where about 1000 foreigners have died since 1998.

While a handful of European countries and two US states have legalised euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, the Dignitas clinic is the only one in the world that allows foreigners to use its service.

In a proposal sent to Fiji’s Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last year, Dr Nitschke said the developing country could generate “considerable income” from a similar clinic with demand expected to come from people in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and India who do not have access to physician-assisted suicide.

“As of 2011, only 6 Australians and no New Zealanders have travelled to use the Dignitas service. Given the logistical problems faced by those in the Asia Pacific travelling to Europe when seriously ill, Exit would suggest that a mirror clinic is well warranted in this region of the world,” wrote Dr Nitschke, the head of Exit International.

He said given Dignitas charged about $12,000 for its service and funerals could cost tens of thousands of dollars, the Fijian government could make money from government taxes on the service, local burial services and “ongoing tourism associated with remembrance of the loved one”.

Dr Nitschke said only seriously ill patients who are found by a psychiatrist to be of sound mind would be approved to use the service. If people met these criteria, a two-day cooling off period would apply before they could take lethal drugs under medical supervision.


continue to source article at theage.com.au

12 COMMENTS

  1. The final touch would be a service so as to ecologically recycle the cadaver in same way as Zoroastrian funeral ceremonies, to be devoured by vultures, or for plant fodder in the form of blood and bone meal.  That method of the celebration of death would be totally free from superstitions and the incorrect phobic reasons they incur. Maggots for the fish farm anyone? We’ll give you the skull and other bones back on request.

  2. When I was growing up, both my Mom and her friend Kay Carter each had 5 children.  Oddly Kay found time to act as ombudsman when dealing with my tyrannical mother. I had a rather hideous bedroom, and Kay and her family did a complete nautical makeover. Kay lead a very adventurous life (She and Mom went to Cuba when it considered quite wicked).  She was very intelligent, so my siblings and I enjoyed visiting her.  However, to my surprise she did not return from a trip to Switzerland.  She had arranged a physician-assisted suicide. 

    Had she been able to count on such services in Canada she might well have postponed her death another year.

    The more countries offer physician assisted suicide, the longer people will be able to postpone.

    Not everyone has the finances, and grit while seriously ill to arrange a trip for two to Switzerland and handle the bureaucracy. Kay was an extremely capable person.  It wrong to demand others pull off what she was able to.

  3. Such a typical display of ignorance by Dr John James describing the proposal
    as dangerous to those with mental illness, when it clearly states patients must
    be found by a psychiatrist to be of sound mind.

    Will people such as this ever come to understanding that they do not have the
    right to say if another shall live or die?
     

  4. In a proposal sent to Fiji’s Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last year, Dr Nitschke said the developing country could generate “considerable income” from a similar clinic with demand expected to come from people in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and India who do not have access to physician-assisted suicide…

    …He said given Dignitas charged about $12,000 for its service and funerals could cost tens of thousands of dollars, the Fijian government could make money from government taxes on the service, local burial services and “ongoing tourism associated with remembrance of the loved one”.

    I find this quite discomforting, and I had no idea that Dignitas charged so much for their services. I’m all for people having the option of self termination when life becomes intolerable to them, and I see nothing wrong with someone else being the instrument of that act.
    But when legalised euthanasia is proposed as a profit-making concern, I get very uneasy.

    Philip Nitschke  says that Fiji will reap tourism dollars from those returning to the place of their loved one’s death to pay their respects. In order for this to work the Fijian government would have to enact legislation outlawing the transportation of the deceased out of the country so that the grieving relatives  have no option but to return there to visit the graveside; there aren’t that many people who would make an overseas pilgrimage to some sterile clinic when they have the option of visiting a cemetary in their own neighbourhood.

    I hate the idea that when a prosperous part of the world has a problem it doesn’t know how to deal with, it can just dump it on another bit which is so hungry for revenue it’ll go along with anything. Thousands of tons of toxic waste you don’t know what to do with? Get rid of it in the Côte d’Ivoire, their environmental regulations are a joke. Tricky issue of individual rights and ownership of self vs. religious and other moral objections to suicide? Fiji is a developing country, stick a couple of clinics out there.

  5.  

    Nozoff
    Such a typical display of ignorance by Dr John James describing the proposal as dangerous to those with mental illness, when it clearly states patients must be found by a psychiatrist to be of sound mind.

    It is just a case of theist brain-reversal, otherwise known as backside-first thinking! 

    It is of course those with dogma-brain-implants inhibiting rational thought, who are a danger to those unfortunates seeking relief from painful terminal conditions in a caring society.

    Unfortunately we do not live in a society where such mentally disabling psychological conditions render them legally unfit to vote.

  6. I’m Fijian. And I stumbled across this by mistake. I had no
    idea this was happening.

     

    Though I can understand why the government would try to keep
    it under wraps. Fiji is a very religious country. Growing up as an Atheist in Fiji
    is a massive pain in the ass, even dating can be challenging. Although I can
    understand how this would benefit Fiji greatly I see this proposal coming under
    all sorts of fire from the Methodist church, the largest church in Fiji. The government
    is not the best we got, but Fiji is stuck in a case of the ‘better of 2 evils’.
    As a small island nation we have been through a lot.

     

    There are facilities available for this process to happen,
    but more infrastructure will be needed. Anyways I can go on about Fiji for
    ever, love my little island home. Let’s see what happens.

     

    Thanks

  7. Am I the only one who doesn’t like the sound of the commercialization of euthanasia?

    Of course, everyone should have the right to choose death when life is no longer tenable, and I commend any organization or individual that will facilitate it, but the above article makes it seem like they are focusing mainly on the big bucks.

    Necrodollars!

  8. What amazes me is that there are a lot of people who don’t seem to understand the horror of intractable,suffering and paralysis.
    I believe Dignitas to be a very honourable organisation providing a solution for those poor souls who have had enough.
    And why should Fiji not provide a similar facility?

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