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Police to take no action on Nitschke at this time

Thursday, 2nd March 2006

Police to take no action on Nitschke at this time

In response to a complaint lodged by United Future MP Gordon Copeland, the Police have decided not to proceed with a charge against Dr Philip Nitschke. They advise that counselling someone to commit suicide is not, in itself, criminal and needs to be accompanied by evidence that a suicide, or attempted suicide can be related to that counselling.

“I accept the Police’s analysis of the law in that regard,” said Mr Copeland. “However, Dr Philip Nitschke should now regard himself as on notice.”

“It seems obvious to me that, if he continues to encourage vulnerable people to take their own lives (including a detailed explanation of how they should go about killing themselves) then it is only a matter of time before cause and effect will come together and he will have crossed the line into criminal activity.”

“I would hope too that the Coroners of New Zealand take note of the Police advice on this issue. Probably the point has been reached when coroner’s inquests should trace back to see whether the counselling advice obtained from Nitschke, whether in person or via his website, is related to the suicide being investigated.”

“The Police also need to remain vigilant in that regard.”


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