{DOCTOR DEATH IS COMING TO ROCKHAMPTON} {Doctor Death Plans to Bring Facts of Exit Strategy to City}; Philip Nitschke Will Teach Elderly and Ill How to Die

Article excerpt

Byline: Kieran Campbell kieran.campbell@capnews.com.au

WHEN "Doctor Death" Philip Nitschke (pictured) visits Rockhampton next week, local retiree Amy Zelmer will be there to hear how people can kill themselves.

Ms Zelmer, who watched her father die of cancer and worked as a nurse with clinically ill patients, will be in the audience when the controversial advocate of euthanasia holds a workshop in the city.

Almost banned recently from promoting voluntary euthanasia in England, the controversial doctor will tell elderly and ill locals where to buy drugs to take their own lives.

Ms Zelma, now in her 70s, said she would be at the Rockhampton workshop, Dr Nitschke's first stop on his regional tour, to "know what my options are".

"This morning, if I suddenly had to face that choice ... I probably would not choose to live a long time in pain," she said.

Dr Nitschke told The Morning Bulletin yesterday he was constantly receiving calls about voluntary euthanasia from across the country, including Rockhampton.

Dr Nitschke said Queensland was a long way from legalising euthanasia and right now elderly and sick people in Rockhampton wanted "practical measures" to be able to choose to end their life.

He said a free public meeting at Rockhampton's Walter Reid Cultural Centre on Tuesday would be followed by a $50 "closed workshop" restricted to people who are ill or more than 50 years old.

The "closed workshop" will include information on the "availability of life-terminating drugs in Australia and overseas, the use of inert gases such as helium or nitrogen and the controversial new "Exit Drug Test Kit".

"People can ask questions about drugs (and) what is available so if they put those steps in place they have the ability to end their lives," Dr Nitschke said. …

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