Nitschke keeps licence

Despite welcome news today that Philip Nitschke, notorious death doctor,  has strict conditions imposted on him, he survives with his medical registration intact.

He is still able to practise under the indirect supervision of a Board-appointed supervisor for 24 months, in a location approved by the Board.

In a settlement between the doctor and the Medical Board of Australia, Dr Nitschke, head of Exit International, has also agreed to no longer run workshops on end-of-life strategies or participate in videos and online information about suicide.

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The Medical Board of Australia has imposed strict conditions on the medical registration of Dr Philip Nitschke in a mediated settlement that concludes longstanding legal and tribunal proceedings," the board said in a statement on Monday 26 October 2015.

The conditions imposed by the medical board are published in full on the register of practitioners and include:

  • Not providing advice or information on suicide or Nembutal to any patient or member of the public
  • Not selling or providing tests to check the purity of Nembutal or being involved in its manufacture
  • Not prescribing, supplying or administering a barbiturate, benzodiazepine class medication or opiates without being authorised to do so in writing by a palliative care physician
  • Not endorsing or encouraging the suicide of any patient or any member of the public who has communicated that intention
  • Removing endorsement of / involvement with The Peaceful Pill Handbook and related videos
  • Communicating effectively with other medical practitioners involved in the clinical care of patients and maintaining adequate patient records
  • Referring patients or members of the public interested in suicide to a registered health practitioner or a local mental health service and

The board said a tribunal hearing into Dr Nitschke's professional conduct, previously scheduled for November 2015, will not proceed.
It said Dr Nitschke had consented to the conditions being imposed by the board, which "it deemed were necessary to protect the public".
"The role of the Medical Board of Australia is to protect the public and manage risk to patients," the board's statement says.

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