The sister of a terminally ill South Australian man who took his life in a Glenelg motel room has defended voluntary euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke’s role in his death.
Former businessman Max Bromson, who suffered from a rare and terminal form of bone cancer, was the lead candidate in SA for the Voluntary Euthanasia Party.
Dr Nitschke has admitted that Mr Bromson sought advice from him, and that both he and the family are concerned about whether charges may be laid after South Australian police confiscated laptops and mobile phones from the scene.
Kerry Bromson told local ABC radio this morning that her brother had been in “excruciating pain”.
Asked whether she thought Dr Nitschke had done anything wrong, she replied: “Absolutely not … if anything, he has done the biggest favour that our politicians haven’t got the nerve to do, for my brother.”
Mr Bromson died early on Monday morning after taking drugs which had been tested at the Exit International laboratory in Adelaide. His close family had travelled to South Australia to be with him.
SAPOL said yesterday that detectives were making “a full assessment of the facts” to determine whether any criminal offence had been committed.
“The response by police has been consistent with any investigation into a death that may have resulted from a criminal act,” they said in a statement.
“Usual protocols have been followed, with the scene properly examined and items seized that may provide evidence. Interviews were conducted and statements taken.
“To comply with our obligation under the law, those present were cautioned as they may have been committing a criminal offence of assisting in a suicide.”
Kerry Bromson said her brother was of sound mind and “totally comfortable with his choice”.
“I think our government has a lot to answer for,” she told 891 ABC.
“I feel extremely sad for people who have had to slink around into quiet corners and achieve the end result that they want. We do more for our dogs.
“People could be in a loving and caring environment and be with the people they love … with a protocol in place, you could be with them.”
Last week, Dr Nitschke was suspended by the Medical Board of Australia which ruled he posed “a serious risk to the health and safety of the public”.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
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