DOCTOR Philip Nitschke's support of a 45-year-old able-bodied man with depression who ended his life is reprehensible.
This man did not have a terminal illness and Dr Nitschke's actions are a gross breach of his Hippocratic Oath as a doctor, and offensive to all standards of common decency.
Equally unacceptable is Dr Nitschke's comment that he did not see it as part of his responsibility to refer the young man to an appropriate specialist for further treatment.
So our GP detects we have cancer and does not refer us to an oncologist? Our GP detects we have a mental illness and does not refer us to a psychologist or psychiatrist?
Dr Nitschke says 'no, support a young individual to end their life'.
In my 14 years at beyondblue, I know our team, our work, together with many other organisations, have saved and repaired many lives.
Millions of dollars are being spent by governments and community organisations to reduce suicides in Australia.
The latest preliminary figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 2012 indicate 2535 Australians took their own lives that year, that's seven deaths a day twice our road toll.
That figure is unacceptable.
We are all working to reduce it, except it seems Dr Nitschke seems to be working to add to those numbers.
Dr Nitschke has coined the phrase 'rational suicide' to justify his involvement in this case, and we hear he wants to have a conference next year in Australia on the subject. I do not mind discussion and I am happy to participate in debates putting a contrary point of view. But that is different from direct action that assists the ending of a life of an able-bodied person.
As a long-time supporter of euthanasia for the terminally ill, for those for whom the dignity of life has been lost, and under special conditions, I believe Dr Nitschke's latest act has crossed the line of decency and professional conduct.
He has done his more general cause for euthanasia a great deal of harm.
I trust the appropriate organisations will move quickly to investigate Dr Nitschke's latest act. He has done society a great disservice .
If a person’s life is in immediate danger, call 000.
To speak to Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis line, call 13 11 14.
If you are aged between five and 25, the Kids Helpline is 1800 551 800.
Beyondblue’s 24-hour support line is available by calling 1300 224 636.