Doctor Plans Euthanasia Boat in British Waters

Australian Inspired by Abortion Ship off Ireland

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LONDON, JUNE 19, 2001 ( An Australian doctor plans to moor a floating euthanasia clinic off the United Kingdom administering lethal injections and drug dosages in an attempt to raise the political profile of the issue, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Darwin-based Philip Nitschke may travel to the Netherlands this summer to buy a Dutch-registered ship so he can legally help kill terminally ill patients around the world. To help set up the project, he will meet with the activists who took an «abortion ship» to Ireland last week.

«I´ve been very impressed by their impact,» Nitschke said. «I expect we could use a similar set up for a euthanasia clinic.» Rebecca Gomberts, the senior doctor behind the Women on Waves abortion vessel, Aurora, has backed Nitschke´s plans.

Nitschke is investigating whether the Dutch Parliament´s recent decision to legalize euthanasia would enable him to circumvent the law in Australia, Britain and other countries where the practice is illegal.

He rose to prominence when he helped four terminally ill patients to die after Australia´s Northern Territory briefly legalized euthanasia in 1996.

A spokesman for the Dutch health ministry said the project would be impossible under their legislation, as the patients must have a long-standing relationship with the doctor and get a second opinion from another physician.

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