In a follow up article to The Australian's story of the death of her son using Exit International advice and methods, Melbourne mum, Judi Taylor accuses Exit Director, Philip Nitschke of lacking consideration for the lives of others.
From the ABC News Report:
"He's hardly a doctor at all. He's not in the business of helping people or saving their lives. His business is just to help people die," she said.
"He has no real consideration for their story or their life or what was going on. If they want his service, he will provide it."
Nitschke's defence, in the same article was to say that Judi's son, Lucas, had lied - as Joe Waterman had - about his age when he joined Exit's discussion forum online. The article explains some of the interactions Lucas Taylor engaged in on the forum; part of which involved a discussion concerning variations to the dose of the euthanasia drug.
Nitschke responded by saying 'the situation could have been a lot worse if he had been provided incorrest information (about the drug).
"If he got the wrong advice she may have had a brain-dead dependent on her hands," Dr Nitschke said.
"That would not be in anyone's interest."
How is this any consolation for a grieving family? It might be rather obvious to point out, but if the forum did not exist maybe Lucas and other people, who knows how many, might have found other less-dramatic, less-destructive ways past their problems.
Mrs Taylor also repeated her earlier call for an inquiry into Exit International; something that we support wholeheartedly. In response witness further Nitschke indifference:
But Mr Nitschke dismissed the idea of closing it down, saying that without it there would be a lack of information for people who were genuine.
"That wouldn't be in anyone's interest," he said.
"If you're going to argue that the forum should be shut down as a result of something like this, you'd have a world of people making silly mistakes."
Lucas, Joe and others are truly victims here: but so are the family and friends left behind who are grasping at trying to understand; trying to find answers. We owe them, and everyone affected by what Angela Shanahan called 'a death cult' to push for a full inquiry.
Then, maybe, all of this will stop.
If you are troubled by suicidal thoughts or need help in any way, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636