The right to choose death

The right to choose death View Gallery

After the legalisations of abortion and gay marriage, many people feel that assisted dying should be the next civil right to be enshrined in Irish law. But campaigners, while hopeful, know that the road ahead will be a long and hard one

Philip Nitschke is now 71 years of age, but he was almost 50 when he came up with a device he called a “deliverance machine”. The Australian doctor set up a bedside computer that was designed – once three unambiguous questions were answered affirmatively – to administer a lethal dose of barbiturates, intravenously, with one click. Since then, Nitschke and his contemporaries in the right-to-die movement have moved on from rudimentary beginnings (including, at the...

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