It’s called the “peaceful pill” and has long been advocated by notorious euthanasia proponent Philip Nitschke as a means to kill oneself. The drug is Nembutal which is only legally available in Australia for veterinarians to euthanize animals. Nitschke helps people to obtain the drug illegally from Mexico and other overseas sources.
Nitschke’s organization, Exit International, claims it tries to restrict its suicide advice to older people. But now, young Australian people in their 20s and 30s are killing themselves using Nembutal. The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine revealed that six people in their 20s and eight in their 30s were found to have died of an overdose of Nembutal.
Nitschke’s website allows people to download instructions on using Nembutal from The Peaceful Pill Handbook, a book which has been published online in the US. In Australia, those who download the book are subject to a $110,000 fine but no one has been charged to date.
Nitschke does not find the report about young people alarming. He says that numbers of people are committing suicide because they are “tired of life.” In Nitschke’s grand scheme, the young who fall prey to the suicide strategy are justified casualties because of the greater benefits for many other people.
Nitschke has now moved his workshops teaching people how to kill themselves to Washington State which legalized assisted suicide in late 2008.