Euthanasia doctor held at airport.

Introduction: An Australian doctor travelling to the UK to hold workshops on euthanasia has been detained at Heathrow Airport.


Dr Philip Nitschke was held under the immigration and asylum act after arriving from Australia on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office confirmed that Dr Nitschke had been detained at Heathrow but would not comment further.

The doctor said he had been allowed into the UK to hold lectures before.

Alex Russell, the vicar of Pennington and chaplain of Oak Haven Hospice in Lymington, Hampshire, said: "I'm not happy about the views that he expresses or these so-called suicide workshops.

"But I would always defend someone's right to voice an opinion about something and to say controversial things.

"The difficulty may be if people who are psychologically unable to think as clearly as they might, or people who are still quite young and forming their opinions, might be influenced by him inappropriately."

She added: "Clearly, if he is contravening a law then he has to be stopped.

"As a hospice chaplain I have had contact with several patients who because of long-term chronic conditions have attempted to take their own lives.

"In every case they have said afterwards that they are glad to be alive and they're glad it didn't work."

After speaking at the Hamilton Hall Hotel in Bournemouth, Dr Nitschke plans to hold workshops in Brighton, Stroud, Gloucestershire and Glasgow.

Dr Nitschke, from Darwin, administered lethal injections to end four patients' lives after voluntary euthanasia was made legal in Australia's Northern Territory in 1996.

The Australian federal government overturned the law nine months later.



Office posted the article on Saturday, 2nd May 2009 at 2:45pm
Article updated on saturday, 2nd may 2009 at 2:59pm

St Barnabas takes every care to check the accuracy of news information from external sources listed on our website, but we realise errors can happen. Please let us know if we have inadvertently posted something incorrect. Thank you!