From ABC News.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is under fire after raiding the homes of two Victorians suffering from terminal illnesses.
Controversial euthanasia campaigner Doctor Philip Nitschke says AFP officers executed search warrants on 78-year-old Don Flounders of Warragul, and 54-year-old Angie Belecciu of Hastings on Wednesday after the pair announced on television they planned to end their own lives.
Mr. Flounders suffers from the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma and Ms Belecciu is terminally ill with breast cancer.Dr Nitschke says he received a panicked phone call from Mr. Flounders this morning as the AFP raids were taking place
.”He called me saying ‘there are people in my house, what do I do’,” Dr Nitschke said.He says the AFP seized lethal drugs and items from the homes including a diary belonging to Mr. Flounder’s wife.
“It’s a strange use of resources. Shouldn’t they [AFP] be out catching terrorists not raiding the homes of the terminally ill,” Dr Nitschke said.
Suicide in the general community is a tragedy, especially youth suicide, followed closely by those who could have found a better solution if they had just talked to someone, or if someone had just listened.
It is however obscene for the federal heavies to be raiding the homes of terminally ill people who express a wish to end it all. I do however think that if Doctor Philip Nitschke and others were not making a political issue of this, more of the terminally ill might be finding that their own doctors would offer some help. Some of them would anyway.
The issue in its most basic state though is, “who owns our lives?” As a libertarian, I believe in individual sovereignty that is that each of us is an independent entity and obviously that ownership is vested in each of us. Contractual arrangements such as marriage and so on may have some bearing on this.
I can see no real reason why a person who has been diagnosed with a terminal condition, whose medical options have run out should not be able to seek relief from a family doctor, if that doctor is willing to offer this. Some counseling would be desirable in these cases, but I see no virtue in forcing these people to live against their wishes.