radically accepting finitude
A TOWNSVILLE GP has been referred to police after sending a threatening email to euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke suggesting he shoot himself.
Police and the Office of the Health Ombudsman were notified by Dr Nitschke after he received the email from Dr Pat Gibney yesterday.
The email reads: “Dear Phillip (sic), Please do the world a favour – Take a loaded 12 Ga (gauge) and put it in your mouth, then shoe (sic) us the courage of your convictions – PULL THE TRIGGER!”
Dr Nitschke, who has long attracted controversy for advocating euthanasia be legalised along with publishing information on various suicide methods, said Dr Gibney’s letter was the worst threat he had ever received.
“I’ve had a few death threats in my time but this is definitely the worst,” he said.
“I’ve never had anything from someone in the medical profession before.”
“You only need some other fool to get in some way encouraged by the rhetoric (in the email) and then it becomes a very dangerous situation.
“There are a number of doctors who have been killed by people who object to abortion.”
Dr Gibney, who works at Aitkenvale Family Health Centre, defended the email, saying he was distressed by Dr Nitschke’s pro-euthanasia stance.
“I don’t like the fact that Nitschke is running around trying to change the laws so doctors are going to be pressured by patients into becoming de facto executioners,” he said.
“If he is uncomfortable with life, I really don’t think he should run around telling other people how to end theirs.”
Dr Nitschke said the message was so threatening he now feared for his safety.
“In light of the violence promoted by Dr Gibney, I am concerned for both my own safety and for that of my family and for the Queensland-based staff members of my organisation Exit International,” he said.
“He (Dr Gibney) needs, at the very least, some serious sanctions from the medical board. I will be watching the medical board very closely about how they proceed here.”
Dr Nitschke generates controversy across the globe and was suspended from practising medicine by the Medical Board of Australia last month after his alleged involvement in the suicide of Perth man Nigel Brayley, who was not terminally ill at the time of his death in May.
Dr Gibney said the rate of suicide in North Queensland, particularly in the indigenous community, was reaching epidemic proportions.
“I think the normalisation of suicide as an exit of life is also a significant threat to the survival of the indigenous population,” he said.
“I work in Townsville and I do a lot of psychological counselling and there would not be a week where I am not sitting there listening to indigenous people in tears talking about their relatives, particularly young men, who have killed themselves.”
A spokeswoman for Aitkenvale Family Health Centre insisted Dr Gibney’s views did not reflect those of the practice.
from Townsville Bulletin