Dr Philip Nitschke
Dr Philip Nitschke

Euthanasia doctor linked to serial killler deregistered

PHILIP Nitschke, the doctor who has spearheaded the campaign to legalise euthanasia in Australia, has been deregistered by the South Australian arm of the Australian Medical Board.

The board invoked special emergency powers on Wednesday night, deeming him a 'serious risk to public health and safety''.

In a press conference on Thursday, Dr Nitschke accused the medical board of behaving like the 'Nanny State'', driven by the conservative Tony Abbott government.

"I don't share the board's Nanny State sentiments,''' Dr Nitschke said.

He said the speed in which the board had made its decision after he gave them a 18-page submission on Monday, was appalling.

He described it as a 'midnight assassination'' with close links to the LNP government.

"The board is being driven by far more bigger political forces.''

The board said it made the decision after considering a submission from Dr Nitschke, as part of the process of taking 'immediate action'.

"Section 156 of the National Law enables the Board to limit a practitioner's registration in some way to keep the public safe, while other investigations or processes continue,'' the board said.

"The register of practitioners now reflects this change to Dr Nitschke's registration.

"The board's enquiries into the conduct of Dr Nitschke will now continue.''

The ruling comes after an investigation into his dealings with a Perth man who killed himself after police started treating his wife's death as a suspected homicide.

Nigel Brayley was found dead next to his mother's grave on May 2.

West Australian police suspected Brayley of killing his wife in 2011.

Since his death, it has emerged that Australian Federal Police was investigating the 2005 dis­appearance of his then live-in girlfriend in East Timor, the Australian reported.

Dr Nitschke said Brayley was a "serial killer" who was determined to end his life when police began closing in on him.

He said Brayley had ordered suicide drugs from China on February 17, before he attended one of Dr Nitschke's workshops on February 24.

"He didn't need me at all - in fact I don't know why he came to the workshop, he had everything well and truly in place," he said.

"It is a clear choice of a person wanting to die rather than spending the next 20 years in jail,'' Dr Nitschke told reporters on Thursday.

Dr Nitschke said to try to argue that he had some sort of 'doctor-patient' relationship was bizarre.

Dr Nitschke's Exit International said the board had claimed his view "that people have a right to choose suicide is incompatible with his responsibility as a doctor".

Exit labelled the move as "Australia's first political medical deregistration".

 Dr Nitschke said the deregistration would not set back Exit International's cause.

He said there were hundreds of people coming to his workshops and he would continue to offer more and more advice.

He pointed out he had no been practicising as a doctor for years.