Jim Carrey. Ricky Gervais. Adam Sandler. Steve Martin. All well-known funny men. Well, move over, guys. Philip Nitschke, the world’s best-known euthanasia activist, is considering a career change.

So a priest, a rabbi and a euthanasia activist walk into a hospital… Picture: Russell Jayne

Life must have been pretty dreary for Nitschke lately. He has spent the last fortnight or so touring the British Isles in the dead of winter, touting his message of suicide on demand. It must be a bit demoralising to give a passionate lecture to a sea – a pond actually – of blue rinsed and bald heads in chilly local halls week after week.

But things are looking up. Dr Nitschke is contemplating a career as a stand-up comedian. No, this is not, repeat, not a joke. He told the newspaper Wales on Sunday, “There is a proposal to do some sort of stage stand-up comedy. It will be comedy associated with the issues of death and dying directed more at entertainment, that’s what we are looking at.”

Stop rolling your eyes! If there’s someone could coax a giggle out of gangrene, I reckon it’s Phil Nitschke. Here and now, I’m applying to be his joke writer. Here’s a few for him:

“You heard the one about the Australian doctor who says to his patient: ‘How are you going today?’” Ha ha ha ha ha ha. (That one works better with Brits, of course.)

“This bloke asks the librarian, ‘Have you got any copies of Nitschke’s book Killing Me Softly?’ And she says, ‘We did, but they never bring it back’.” Ha ha ha ha ha.

“One day I’m talking with this lady about how to use my Deliverance Machine and after a while she wants to change the topic, so she says, ‘Well, in a different vein…’ And I say, ‘Oh, so which one do you want it in?’” Ha ha ha.

“Did you hear the one about the Dutch euthanasia doctor who killed the wrong patient? He was sacked for a grave mistake!” Ha ha.

“I have this patient with a split personality and half of him, Norm, is a member of Exit International, and the other half, Bazza, is a pro-lifer and they hate each other. So after one of my talks, Norms drinks Nembutal and he leaves a suicide note which says, ‘Bazza is going to kill himself when he hears about this.’” Ha.

Nitschke admires both the low-key irony of Jerry Seinfeld and the absurd slapstick of Barry Humphries, so it’s hard to predict what sort of comedy will emerge. He told Wales on Sunday that he may do his act in drag, like Dame Edna Everage. Names, anyone? Morticia? It might be a bit tough for Phil to mince around in the hobble skirt worn by Morticia Addams, but the name’s about right. 

Joking aside, I do think that Nitschke is on to something. His talent for being, looking and acting ridiculous is simply outstanding. And as the years roll on, his fanatical interest in other people’s deaths is becoming so absurd that other voluntary euthanasia groups avert their eyes in squeamish embarrassment. 

Dying in Dignity, the peak UK group promoting the legalisation of assisted suicide, had to issue a statement on one of Nitschke’s previous tours disavowing him. “It is irresponsible, and potentially dangerous, to provide information on how to end life without safeguards or control over who accesses the information,” said its CEO, Sarah Wootton.

Last year provided a memorable example of Nitschke’s gift for gaffes, if not for guffaws. He staunchly defended his barely legal promotion of a suicide drug for the elderly and terminally ill. It turned out that nearly two-thirds of the Australians who died after quaffing Nembutal at least 51 over the previous 10 years - were under 60, and quite a few were in their 20s and 30s. This suggested that mental illness or depression, not unbearable pain, was the reason for the suicide.

So how did Nitschke respond?

‘‘There will be some casualties,” he said, pretending he was General Haig at the Somme, “but this has to be balanced with the growing pool of older people who feel immense well-being from having access to this information,’’ [about suicide drugs].

The notion that young people are just collateral damage in a war to defend their grandparents’ inalienable right to make a quick getaway bordered on lunacy. But that was before he had a good joke writer. 

Sorry, late flash. Just thought of a new one for Phil. “Why am I like Santa Claus? Because I’m gonna sleigh them in the aisles!”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. OMG, I want to kill myself laughing.

Michael Cook is editor of the on-line magazine MercatorNet

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60 comments

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    • Zac de Spudnut says:

      05:27am | 03/03/11

      No wonder the Rabbi wrote…....

      “To a true atheist, there can be no more ultimate meaning to good and bad actions than to good or bad weather; no more import to right and wrong than to right and left. To be sure, rationales might be conceived for establishing societal norms, but social contracts are practical tools, not moral imperatives; they are, in the end, artificial. Only an acknowledgement of the Creator can impart true meaning to human life, placing it on a plane above that of mosquitoes.

      Proponents of atheism bristle when confronted by the implications of their belief, that morality and ethics are mere figments of our evolutionary imagination. But, for all their umbrage, they cannot articulate any way there can really ever be, as one writer has put it, “good without God.”

      The bristlers are not liars, only inconsistent; some well-hidden part of their minds well recognizes that humans have a higher calling than hyenas. But while the cognitive dissonance shifts to overdrive, the stubborn logic remains: The game is zero-sum. Either there is no meaningful mandate for human beings; or there is. And if there is, there must be a Mandator.” Rabbi Avi Shafran

      The Indignity of Atheism

      http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/48943606.html

    • Bonestar says:

      08:30am | 03/03/11

      Hmmmm, what a load of craaaap! As an atheist i always strive to be a good human being. I don’t need to have a childlike belief in fantasy creatures to make me feel more important than Hyena’s and mosquito’s, as fellow creatures on this planet they are my equals.

    • True Believer says:

      09:11am | 03/03/11

      @Bonestar

      Wow and you are so wonderfully modest and so incredibly humble - not.

      Believing in the Living God and His Son Jesus Christ does not make one “more important” - it makes us aware of how much we are loved by Him and we realise why we exist once our spirit is alive to God.  He loves you too and died for you, but you prefer to live in ignorant darkness spiritually.

      You speak out about Someone you will not even try to know - no wonder you see mosquitos as you equal. :0)

    • baal says:

      09:37am | 03/03/11

      Zac and true believer,
      You are worshipping the wronI g God, I pray you find the right one before it is too late.
      Blessed is the atheist for they live with honestly denied to the followers of false gods.

    • James Hunter says:

      10:30am | 03/03/11

      @bonestar Rember being perfect is to show a calous disregard for ones critics.

    • True Believer says:

      11:50am | 03/03/11

      @baal

      Your name suits you if you think Zac and I do not worship the one Living God - baal alias Satan has been pulling the wool over the eyes of atheists and those who do worship false gods for eons.  He is a loser the one you back. The Victory is the Lord’s.

    • Bryndal says:

      12:39pm | 03/03/11

      @ True Believer - Jesus didn’t die for my sins!

    • baal says:

      12:42pm | 03/03/11

      I do not worship Baal, he is an old and defunct God just like El, the one you worship.
      However Baal, Bael, bael zebub, belezebub, satan is a nasty myth made up by monothiests and skyfather servants to tarnish the name of those you walk in the spirit of prometheus.
      At least I know I am crazy

    • God says:

      01:00pm | 03/03/11

      True Believer, this is God speaking.  Worship me!

      Now, you might be thinking, “You are not the True God! I’m not bowing down to you!” 

      HOw do you know?

      The way I see it, you’ve now got a problem.  See, I am pretty strict on the whole “You Must Worship Only Me line” - pretty sure that’s the first commandment, actually.

      So, if I am actually Your True God and you just ignored me, you’re going to hell. If I’m NOT God but you choose to worship me anyway, then the REAL True God is going to send you to hell.

      Since not you, nor even I, know whether or not I am actually your True God, either way you’re pretty screwed.  And I can’t even help you, because I might be God and not even know it!

      I’m certainly not going to forgive you if you get it wrong, though.

      So you’re 50/50 for hell.  Of course, each subsequent person might say the same thing.  And you’ll never know if one of them is God.

    • True Believer says:

      02:20pm | 03/03/11

      @Bryndal and Baal

      Well you are both in error - Bryndal - Jesus did die for your sins just as He did for mine. Your denial does not change that Truth one iota.  If you choose not to accept what He did for you, your choice, but make sure you know what you are doing.  I would not be too hasty if I were you to condemn yourself.

      baal - Your namesake is still alive and kicking, albeit in his death throes in these times. You have been conned, but you are too blind to see it.

      Your choice to be without the wisdom which comes from acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

    • James1 says:

      02:50pm | 03/03/11

      Thanks for the laugh TB.  Your assertions are a source of great amusement to me.  Perhaps you can answer this: what are you basing these truth claims on? 

      Given you are so certain of being correct, can you explain to me the epistemological and ontological basis of these truth claims? 

      Preferably without the sancimonious stuff about Jesus being real/me lacking “wisdom” or quoting to Bible.  If you can explain the basis of your truth claims with reference to some attributable evidence, then perhaps you might change my mind.  If not, you will at least keep me entertained.

      Keep it up Zac - I reckon if you repeat the same misquotes and faulty interpretations thereof enough times, you will convince the whole world to throw the atheists down the well.  So my country can be free.  I also find it interesting that you quote someone who is, according to your own belief system, rotting in hell as we speak.

      Yours in Zeus,
      James1

    • Elphaba says:

      03:08pm | 03/03/11

      @James1, speaking of hell, I’d like to know Zac’s interpretation of it.

      Is it just the separation from God thing, or is it the fire and brimstone like in Dante’s Inferno?

      Man, that’s an awesome book.  My favourite part is the seers, who have their heads on backwards.

      Oh, and the hypocrites - the lead-lined cloaks…

    • True Believer says:

      05:11pm | 03/03/11

      @James1

      Laugh all you like my friend, you harm no one, but your self.  Sadly if you persist in your foolishness it will be a case of “he who laughs last laughs loudest.”  That gives me no joy, I was on the path you are on before Jesus showed me His Truth.  He says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life” that is it. You can deny it, you can laugh, mock, scoff, blaspheme, ridicule away, but His Truth stands immutable. I would not swap it for all the riches in the world. Nothing mankind produces comes anywhere near our Lord, your Creator.

      You think you are so clever challenging me on philosophical theories - sorry I am not playing. I too studied philosophy - it raises interesting questions, but no real answers.

      I have been down those paths of human wisdom, philosophy, sociology, ethics etc etc, but it was only in coming to know Jesus that I found the answers to every question I had and much more besides. Love beyond measure, peace you could only dream of and assurance nothing on earth can bring.

      I am not saying the human wisdom does not have its place, but it is of its nature limited in what answers it can come up with as C. S. Lewis found. Perhaps you could avail yourself of his writings, it might assist you

    • James Ricketson says:

      05:57am | 03/03/11

      “It is irresponsible, and potentially dangerous, to provide information on how to end life without safeguards or control over who accesses the information,” said its CEO, Sarah Wootton.

      Sarah needs to contact Wikipedia post haste. It took me less than 30 seconds after typing ‘suicide methods’ into google to find out about Nembutal. In five minutes of research I discovered over a dozen ways to kill myself – as could any would-be suicide old enough to type ‘suicide’ into google. To imply that Nitschke is in any way responsible for 5 Nembutal-related deaths in under 60 year olds a year is drawing a very long bow indeed.

    • Faz says:

      06:13am | 03/03/11

      I’m no fan of Nitschke, but this would have to be one of the worst articles I’ve read on The Punch.

      What comes across strongly is that you are about as funny as an ambulance yourself and that you despise Nitschke in a very personal way.

    • BT says:

      08:29am | 03/03/11

      I have to agree with you there Faz. What a nasty and thoroughly humourless article. In the throws of death my grandfather was in total agony, unable to control his arms or legs that were flailing about and unable to find relief even from morphine. He was crying out “help me help me!” and it was heartbreaking for my mother to witness that. He died throwing up his own blood. This was a man who had fought in WW2, he was brave but even that was more than he could bear. Nitschke has witnessed this and more. He wants to spare people that inhumane end. If he believes he can use humour to allay people’s fear of dying, and they find comfort in that, then more power to him.

    • Dazeddazza says:

      11:18am | 03/03/11

      I agree also, what an article, written with venom and hatred.  Whether we believe in Nitschke or not, he does have the right to express his thoughts, and his audience also have the right to listen.

    • Posleh says:

      06:48am | 03/03/11

      Your facetious rant does little to further the debate about euthanasia. People should have the right to choose when they die without god-botherers and do-gooders interfering

      Maybe you’d like to ban cars because some people drive incorrectly, too

    • Paranoia says:

      08:49am | 03/03/11

      Thank you Posleh!  I was trying to find the right words to say this, but you’ve done it perfectly.

    • BobM says:

      06:52am | 03/03/11

      Maybe he could give us a demo…..

    • Kelly says:

      08:36am | 03/03/11

      @Bob M - GOLD! The Punch really needs a like button.

    • Justin says:

      08:58am | 03/03/11

      “It turned out that nearly two-thirds of the Australians who died after quaffing Nembutal at least 51 over the previous 10 years - were under 60, and quite a few were in their 20s and 30s. This suggested that mental illness or depression, not unbearable pain, was the reason for the suicide. “

      Sorry, I wasn’t aware that physical pain was the only pain worthy of consideration. I’m sick of assholes like you that make out like every life is worth saving. Sometimes you play the hand you were dealt wrong and are destined for a miserable utterly painful existence. Who the hell are you to tell other people what they can and can’t do with their own lives anyway. they aren’t yours to control.

    • True Believer says:

      09:15am | 03/03/11

      @Justin

      If only you had the spiritual awareness to realise that no one’s life is their own, we all have a Creator to whom we will give account of how we spent our lives. 

      You though prefer to see yourself as just a sophisticated computer, made up of atoms, merely an animal without a soul - now that is sad. You are missing out on knowing who you really are and how much you are loved with His unconditional love.

      We were all bought at a price on the Cross of Calvary - but it is our choice whether we accept His free gift of life and that eternal with Him.

    • Likes Joining Dots says:

      09:58am | 03/03/11

      True Believer

      I see a contradiction here, you state ‘no-ones life is their own’ and yet you also say ‘but it is our choice whether we accept His free gift of life’

      Irrespective of whether Justins beliefs match your own, you do realise that you are now agreeing with the argument he has put forward?

    • True Believer says:

      11:56am | 03/03/11

      @Likes Joining dots

      Thank you for your comment. I am speaking about spiritual, everlasting life or spiritual everlasting death - that is the choice - God says, “I put before you life and death - choose life.” 

      The choice is ours where we spend eternity, that decision is made this side of death - too late after. 

      If we choose to ignore what He has said - we condemn ourselves, Our lives are not our own, but where we spend them in this life and for eternity is our choice to make. God-given choice.

      I hope that explains it. Hard to discuss spiritual matters with people who are not alive to their reality. Cheers.

    • Bryndal says:

      12:44pm | 03/03/11

      @TB - “we all have a Creator to whom we will give account ” - I think mine is overdrawn. What a load of…...
      If your life isn’t your own then give it back as it it seems like you are wasting it.

    • Likes Joining Dots says:

      12:51pm | 03/03/11

      True Believer

      Spiritual matters, well, I will happily leave that with you.

      Being alive to my own (non-spiritual reality) is also ok, thank you for allowing me that. Your compromise is accepted.

    • austin 3:16 says:

      05:03pm | 05/03/11

      Hey TB,

      “people who are not alive to their reality” - I think you might have the problem a little the wrong way around there.

    • True Believer says:

      07:45pm | 05/03/11

      Austin 3:16

      Not sure what you mean. :0)

    • Dieter Moeckel says:

      09:28am | 03/03/11

      My life is mine and no one else has the right to tell me what to do with it. Suicide or at least attempted suicide is no longer a criminal act, why then is assisting a suicide a criminal act. Helping some determined to die, to die with dignity rather than have them jump of a building or a bridge inconveniencing passers by, or blowing their brains out with a fire arm splattering blood and brain matter around a room is surely a good, not a bad thing.
      Calling Phil Nietchke “Dr Death” is distateful and obscene.

    • True Believer says:

      12:17pm | 03/03/11

      @Dieter Moeckel

      The name Dr Death is well-deserved by Nietschke and his ilk.  What a sad individual - spends his youth learning how to heal, spends his later years peddling his little death machine. He is not a doctor of healing he is a doctor dealing in death and encouraging people to suicide.

      Not a well-rounded psyche there I wouldn’t think. Doing the opposite of what his training and Hyppocratic oath committed him to do - heal.

    • Kevin says:

      12:49pm | 03/03/11

      @TB - actually Dr Nitschke graduated in medicine when he was in his forties.
      The use of the term “Dr Death” is a bit rich coming from someone whose religion has at its main symbol a cross to which is nailed a dead person who voluntarily allowed his life to be terminated.

    • clazberri says:

      12:53pm | 03/03/11

      Well said Dieter Moeckel.

      @ True Believer – you are a complete moron. 

      There’s no point any person arguing with you because one cannot argue with an idiot; idiots (for example: you) don’t understand what constitutes a sound/strong/valid argument or counter-argument.

      To anyone who isn’t a self-appointed ‘god botherer’, and has a sense of humour, check this out: 

      http://lolgod.blogspot.com/2009/03/reckless-self-endangerment-is-not.html

    • Likes Joining Dots says:

      01:10pm | 03/03/11

      I would have thought Dr Compassion would be a more appropriate moniker.

      What compassionate person allows a life to suffer needlessly when a doctors healing skills are exhausted?

      So I ask you True Believer. Should a patient suffer for months once the physicians healing/life saving skills have reached their limit?

    • True Believer says:

      02:15pm | 03/03/11

      @Kevin

      Well if that is true and it may well be he was an adult and should be held even more accountable for the hypocrisy he displays. He trained to heal, not kill.

      As for your ill-informed comment about Jesus death on the Cross - in His death he overcame death and sin - because what you carefully ignore is that He rose again. Death had no hold over Him and He lives now and forever.  His was an act of love for mankind, He laid down His life in the flesh that we might have life if we turn to Him. It was not the selfish act of suicide Neitschke promotes.

    • baal says:

      02:21pm | 03/03/11

      @TB.
      My body and my soul is my responsibility, further more regardless how immortal I may or not be I have the right to end my life if I think living is no longer worth the suffering.
      I say this even though I am a suicide survivor due to a miserable youth. I am so glad that I was saved by caring people and graced by loving spirit, however my body is my body and I your false God has no power over me.
      I would never force my spiritual beliefs ont anyone.

    • Kevin says:

      03:16pm | 03/03/11

      @TB: If “death had no hold over him” then he didn’t lay down his life and therefore no sacrifice was involved.  You need to get your mumbo jumbo straight.

    • True Believer says:

      05:59pm | 03/03/11

      @clazberri

      Insult me all you like, makes not one iota of difference to what I know to be true.  All it displays is your ignorance.  I have a sense of humour, but I prefer to laugh with people, not at them. Something you might like to try along with some respect for other people.

    • Kevin says:

      09:53am | 03/03/11

      He’d have to be funnier than Adam Sandler.

    • True Believer says:

      05:32pm | 03/03/11

      @Elphaba

      Usually you are so erudite and now when offered the opportunity to discuss an issue intelligently you become monosyllabic - guess that explains a lot.

    • Elphaba says:

      09:58am | 03/03/11

      2nd time I’ve had to post something because it fails to appear…

      I’m not a huge fan of Nitschke, he’s said some pretty bonehead things (like convicted lifers in prison should be allowed to off themselves - what rubbish, I want them rotting for the rest of their miserable days), however, I do believe for terminally ill people, they should be able to choose death if that’s what they want, and people who assist them in carrying out their clear, explicit wishes, should not be prosecuted for that.

      As to any info Nitschke may be giving about killing oneself, he’s not saying anything that isn’t accessible by a 30 second Google search, so I wouldn’t worry about him corrupting minds and planting the seed. People who want to kill themselves will get the job done, whether it’s legal or not, whether Nitschke tells them how to do it or not.

    • True Believer says:

      12:31pm | 03/03/11

      @Elphaba

      Don’t you think we would create a rather odd society if on one hand we lock up murderers and spend millions endeavouring to prevent people suiciding only to then legalise one and approve of the other by our laws?

      “Euthanasia” is just a euphemism for murder or suicide - there is no nice way to view taking a human life, another’s or one’s own - no matter how the proponents try to dumb down the language to make it other than what it definitely is.

      I think it is just too easy to go along with emotive arguments about “terminally ill” and “dying with dignity” - taking human life in peace time is, was and forever will be an abomination.

      Perhaps instead of sucking on Nietschke’s seductive, sugar-coated, syrupy, sermons on suicide we should be doing more to help our fellow travellers on planet Earth to live with dignity.

    • Elphaba says:

      01:58pm | 03/03/11

      @True Believer

      No.

      Thanks for your post.

    • Baal says:

      02:36pm | 03/03/11

      Life is not black or white TB, it is a rainbow of infinite beauty and sometimes horrific darkness.
      Pray for Mercy and let the hands of those we love be guided not by doctrine or edict but animated by love and respect for the will we have left.
      Peace be with you TB

    • LauraBoBaura says:

      03:07pm | 03/03/11

      @Elphaba… a finely crafted response there! wink

    • Elphaba says:

      03:18pm | 03/03/11

      @Laura, what’s the point of going into detail?  I’m wrong anyway no matter what opinion I have. 

      *yawn*

    • NicoleG says:

      03:47pm | 03/03/11

      Elphaba, I think you gave the response that comment deserved.

    • St. Michael says:

      10:12pm | 03/03/11

      @ True Believer: if you’re going to criticise “euphenisms”, at least have the courage to do the same to your own.  You say in your article “help our fellow travellers on planet Earth to live with dignity.”

      I assume by this very vague and nonspecific line you are suggesting that we ought do nothing to help those in terrible pain to end that pain, rather just let them ‘live” with it “with dignity”.

      For many people in the final stages of a terminal condition, that excruciating pain amounts to torture.  And unlike Jesus Christ who basically put up with (on the Bible) roughly 6-9 hours of it, many people endure that pain or worse for weeks, months, years on end.  And one might note that the Romans themselves actually euthanased those who were being crucified (that’s what the lance in the side episode was all about and the “break not one of his bones” prophecy is referring to) by breaking their leg bones.  This was done to hasten death.  It was an act of mercy.  Jesus, of course, was already dead by the time they came round to do that to him.  Incidentally, how do you interpret the lines that he “gave up the Ghost?”  Was that Jesus voluntarily choosing the moment of his passing, right after he said “It is finished”? What is the difference between that and a suicide?

      But let’s get back to “living with dignity”.  As the morphine doses controlling the pain continue, its effectiveness decreases.  The body builds tolerances to pain medications.  It fights, desperately, to push through signals to the brain that there is dreadful hurt going on.  That screaming of pain goes on, day after day, month after month.  You lose control of your bowels.  You cough blood endlessly.  You cannot move.  You can hardly speak.  All that was you has been reduced to a quivering sack of meat lying on a hospice bed.  And eventually the morphine has no effect, unless you adminster a dose so large it kills the person.  If you’re lucky, death comes quickly.  If you’re not, it doesn’t.

      And that’s the most obvious cases.  My own experience, with my grandfather, is with crippling strokes that can’t be cured and can’t be treated.  The man spent seven years lying in a permanent care unit.  He could no longer move.  He could not speak other than the grunt you might find from a man who’s had his tongue cut out.  He did not recognise us.  We would visit every day and find him having soiled himself with nobody to clean him.  He lay there, seven years, “living with dignity”.  I can barely remember much of my grandfather now other than the wordless, endless pleading of his eyes as they looked at us—pleading for the end of his life, which we, as good and true Catholics, did not give him.

      I saw that expression again, though.  This time, it was in a badly beaten and wounded cat that had been savaged by a local dog.  I saw the adrenalin pumping from its screaming nerves dilating its pupils; I felt its shuddering breathing as its poor old heart tried so hard to keep it alive, in spite of the pain it was being put through.  We took that cat to a veterinarian.  The veterinarian did what any human being with an ounce of compassion would do and ended the cat’s suffering, by ending its life.  Because nothing else could be done medically.

      I find no “living with dignity” in those scenarios, True Believer.  But that’s always been the way of the religious right: you guys always refuse to confront what your ideology means in practice except when it suits you.  I bet when discussing abortion you drag out “The Silent Scream” to tell people that abortion is evil, because you’re doing the equivalent right now when it comes to “living with dignity”.

      Visit some cancer wards, True Believer.  Talk to some people for whom the pain is unending and for which medicine and begging God for release and/or relief has come to nothing.  Then you can come back here and criticse people about “euphemisms.”  Before then, you are being an intellectual coward.

      Oh, and one last thing? Do try and read some books other than the Bible sometime.  Your writing style is straight out of Acts, and it’s partially why you’re rubbing people the wrong way on these forums.  Quite independent of some of the silliness you’re spouting, too.

    • True Believer says:

      11:23am | 04/03/11

      @St Michael
      “True Believer: if you’re going to criticise “euphenisms”, at least have the courage to do the same to your own.  You say in your article “help our fellow travellers on planet Earth to live with dignity.””

      Your assumption about my statement, not a euphemism by the way, ‘living with dignity’ means just that - living, not the process of dying.  I would have thought that was self-explanatory to a thinking person.

      There are many on our planet who have no dignity in their life at all, let alone being “enabled to die with dignity”.  The Western World consumes more than its share of food and resources to the detriment of many people in developing countries.  Millions of children die through lack of food, water, shelter and medicines. 

      Even in our own country people are living miserable existences through no fault of their own.  There seems to have been a decline in the willingness to care for our neighbour,  elderly, disabled are often struggling to live with dignity.  Many of our mentally ill are living on the streets or end up in prison for lack of proper support - so even in Australia many struggle to “live with dignity.”  Many of our indigenous citizens live impoverished lives with a life expectation less than Caucasians.  Hedonism, greed and selfishness have taken over in many respects and we have lost the social fabric that used to be a part of this nation.

      Jesus’ words “It is finished” meant that which He came to accomplish - to take away the sin of the world was done.  It was in fact the beginning of a new relationship between God and man - He rose again, overcoming death.  His death was not suicide, it was a sacrifice, He laid down His life for you, for me.  All we are called to do is believe Him for who He is, Son of God, Messiah, the Christ.  Just as a soldier goes to war knowing that he may well lose his life, but for his country he is prepared to lay it down.  That is not suicide either.

      As to the pain and suffering you describe - having been a carer, over many years,  for a severely disabled person, quadriplegic, blind, incontinent and also a cancer sufferer to boot I am well acquainted with the pain and suffering of another. She had a great faith, prayed for a gentle death and that is what her Lord granted her.  I have worked with people in great mental and emotional pain so I have witnessed that suffering as well.  We live in a fallen world where so many are in rebellion against their Creator - the pain, illness etc you see is the result of the sin of the world - Satan sends these things, not the Lord.

      Nothing gives us the right to take our own life or that of another.  To legalise murder and encourage suicide is downright evil and no trendy spouting on by atheists will change that fact.

      “Your writing style is straight out of Acts, and it’s partially why you’re rubbing people the wrong way on these forums.  Quite independent of some of the silliness you’re spouting, too.” 

      That is a great compliment thank you saying my writing style is straight out of Acts.  I would that it could be such.  The wisdom of God is silliness to you because you cannot comprehend it, or do not want to.  Your opinion of what I say is just that, your opinion.

      I ‘rub people up the wrong way’ as you say and that should read ‘some people’ - (not everyone on these forums are Christian bashers) - because I speak the Truth, I tell them the Truth and they are wanting to hide from it. As the Bible says they prefer the darkness to the light. They have built their house on shifting sands and in their hearts they know it, there is only one Rock on which to build one’s house of life and that Rock is Jesus.
      I know where they are coming from because I have been an unbeliever, mocked Christians to my shame and now know how ignorant and unintelligent that was.

      Have a great weekend. :0)

    • St. Michael says:

      10:35pm | 04/03/11

      @ True Believer:

      Nice try at (a) shifting the debate and (b) doing exactly what I accused you of.

      “Your assumption about my statement, not a euphemism by the way, ‘living with dignity’ means just that - living, not the process of dying.  I would have thought that was self-explanatory to a thinking person.”

      If you’re going to go for ad hominem insults, have the guts to make them openly, my Christian darling.  Guess I must have gotten under your skin there.

      Otherwise, though, people can read your words.  You said “living with dignity”.  As a Christian you propose that life includes all the process until death.  Ergo you were talking about living with dignity whilst writhing in pain from a terminal illness without surcease from medicine or God.  Have the guts to not try and weasel out of your own words now.

      Although, again, your writing style is vague, airy, and full of crappy metaphors.  It’s what gets you into trouble like this.

      This part really sums it up, though:

      “As to the pain and suffering you describe - having been a carer, over many years,  for a severely disabled person, quadriplegic, blind, incontinent and also a cancer sufferer to boot I am well acquainted with the pain and suffering of another. She had a great faith, prayed for a gentle death and that is what her Lord granted her.  I have worked with people in great mental and emotional pain so I have witnessed that suffering as well.  We live in a fallen world where so many are in rebellion against their Creator - the pain, illness etc you see is the result of the sin of the world - Satan sends these things, not the Lord.”

      How nice.
      (a) So it’s the world’s fault that cancer causes pain, is it?
      (b) It’s Satan tweaking on the nerve endings, is it? Chemistry and adrenalin’s got nothing to do with it?
      (c) And if you pray God sends you a painless few months prior to death, does he?

      Pity real verifiable experience doesn’t bear those charming fairytales out.

      Your resume for commenting on euthanasia still sucks appallingly, and your responses in the job interview aren’t helping you.  How many people have you “cared” for? One? Have the guts to cite some specifics of your so-called experiences with “physical and mental pain” which qualifies you to deal with the really serious business of euthanasia—or murder—or mercy killing before coming back and dropping some more God bombs.

      “Just as a soldier goes to war knowing that he may well lose his life, but for his country he is prepared to lay it down.  That is not suicide either.”

      Au contrarie, sport.  A serviceman goes to war trying to make the other bastard die for his country, not him die for his own.  Of course it’s not suicide, mostly because there’s no assurance of death intended.  Jesus, on the other hand, repeatedly said that he was going to die.  He did nothing to avoid it.  He kept saying it was preordained.  Sure looks like intended suicide to me.  Rather than use your rather romantic, ill-placed and disingenuous example of servicemen, why don’t we use the old example of “suicide by cop”? Suits Jesus’s circumstances rather better than servicemen, don’t you think?

    • True Believer says:

      10:11am | 05/03/11

      @St MIchael

      Goodness me - who got under who’s skin? Think I rattled your cage.

      The one wonderfully predictable thing about atheists/unbelievers is they are so certain of their position, for which they have zero proof, they have to try to tear down what a Christian tells them. 

      Oh well, Jesus did not come to win any popularity contest and He was mocked even as He walked the earth and still the scoffers scoff as they go on their perilous journey of hopelessness. :0)  Your choice, I tell you the Truth, you try to tear it down. Of course you can’t tear down His Truth, but still you feebly try.  There are none so blind as those determined not to see.

      “Pity real verifiable experience doesn’t bear those charming fairytales out.”

      You judge everyone’s death by the sadly very unpleasant one you witnessed. Now I do not at all demean the degree of suffering many go through, that is what I was trying to explain to you. Many suffer for the whole of their (often short) lives and then face a cruel death.  They do not get to live with dignity, let alone die with dignity.  We in the Western World think we are owed a better life and death than our poorer fellow citizens, who often suffer daily for want of food.  That is living without dignity.  You obtusely try to twist what I say.

      Yes Satan does cause the destruction, illness, confusion, unbelief and mayhem.  Whether you believe that or not is neither here nor there in the scheme of things. Part of his plan is to keep you blind and you think you are being clever, mate you are being conned. Wake up!!

      You denigrate the personal experience I shared with you. That says more about your attitude than it does about mine. You give examples of your grandfather and a cat, does that make you an expert on suffering? Get real.  I think caring for a disabled person for quarter of a century, seeing the suffering of not only her, the many around her in addition my professional work with the mentally ill and criminally insane gives me a fair idea of what suffering is about. 

      I have considerable regard for the strength of the human spirit having seen people overcome things which would probably send you running to your mother.  This is not about me, defending myself, however, it is about me trying to share with you the Truth.

      You run so hard from it and I wonder why? All you would gain from Jesus is love, hope, peace, joy and knowing who you are and why you exist.  Seems to me there is a lot to gain and nothing to lose. You are paying a high price for your pride, that is what caused Satan’s fall, hence the saying “pride comes before a fall.”

      I hope your weekend is going well. :0)

    • notSue says:

      12:25pm | 03/03/11

      Cook The Sook is at it again. There’s something really offputting in the way you write, Cooky, as others have noted. It’s vicious and petty.

      That said, I’m no fan of Nitschke either. The man is irresponsible and bordering on psychotic, in my estimation. At very least he’s obsessive and lacks intellectual rigour in his arguments. Maybe stand-up is the right career for him afterall!
      As an ex palliative care nurse, I have to say that most people when they came to our hospice( generally with a 3 month prognosis), were in dire straits, many begging to be released from their misery. However, with the application of proper symptom control, as well as social and spiritual care as required, the difference made in about two weeks to their quality of life was often enormous, as the terminally ill realised they wanted to live as long as they could, to tie up loose ends and say goodbye. That was in most cases, however, some were unable to be properly palliated, with intractable symptoms. These are the folk who need to be assisted to die and who should have access to help..and sometimes, do.

    • barry says:

      12:49pm | 03/03/11

      I still think they physical sick need no be the only reason that we should legally end our life. I think people who have mental illness or deep depression should also have the same rights. Why should we have to listen to the relgious and self moralist people. It my life and my choice how I die no matter what the reason

    • St. Michael says:

      09:46pm | 03/03/11

      That’s an interesting kettle of fish you’ve got over there.

      The decision to end your own life surely has to be a rational one, coldly weighing the actual rather than the perceived consequences, or else it seems to me to be a profound waste.  Sure it’s your choice, but suicide is an inherently self-destructive act, and therefore isn’t to be condoned or assisted by society.  That’s the real issue.  Nobody is saying you can’t top yourself, and nobody is saying they could really stop you if they tried.  The real question is whether you criminalise people who help you do it, in whatever shape or form.

      Depression by definition is a condition where the mind is not working properly.  In some respects it is like alcoholism, in that one can recover from it, though the capacity to slip back always remains.  If your mind isn’t working properly, how are you making a rational decision to terminate your own life? If you go to a doctor who diagnoses you as depressed, you say you want to end your own life, the doctor knows it’s depression speaking and knows there are treatment remedies, wouldn’t we accuse the doctor of gross medical negligence or even dishonouring the oath he took if he helps you suicide?

    • Justin says:

      01:38pm | 03/03/11

      “Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still. Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still. Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.” Revelation 22

      Basically it means everyone do what you feel is right in your heart, but God Almighty who has given you free will in this life WILL bring justice against those who would seek to cheapen life and make attacks on the vulnerable and the oppressed.  Remember Eugenics?  Once we let this legalised murder in the door it is a slippery slope towards putting down our disabled and injured like unwanted dogs.  I suppose if your belief is that we all evolved from the same goop then thats OK then huh?

      Be careful what you support either in word or in deed, whether it be this or any other social issue.  There is nothing new under the sun and we have seen this sort of horrendous behaviour masked as “logical thought” before…

    • James1 says:

      02:54pm | 03/03/11

      “Once we let this legalised murder in the door it is a slippery slope towards putting down our disabled and injured like unwanted dogs.”

      Ah.  So in the US right now they are killing disabled people then, at least according to your assertions.  Keep in mind, murder is legal in the US - state murder, in the form of the death penalty.

    • Matt says:

      02:29pm | 03/03/11

      Nitschke has been quoted as saying that teenagers over the age of 18 and that are suffering from depression should be able to kill themselves.

      He’s also admitted that as a child he killed his pet dog for no reason.

      Says it all really.

    • stephen says:

      02:57pm | 03/03/11

      Why doesn’t his ex-medical school rescind his degree ?

    • Kate says:

      07:45pm | 03/03/11

      Mr Cook, you are pretty naive to think that depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses don’t constitute ‘unbearable pain’.

 

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