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The Peaceful Pill eHandbook aims to provide Seniors and people who are seriously ill with accurate, up-to-date information about their end-of-life choices.
In 1996, it was Australia who passed the world’s first right to die law: the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act (ROTI). Under ROTI, I (Philip Nitschke) became the first doctor in the world to provide a legal, lethal, voluntary injection to four of my terminally ill patients: a ‘Peaceful Pill’ if you like. These four very sick people died peacefully in their sleep, with their loved ones by their side.
As their treating physician, I was the one who put the needle into their veins. To facilitate this process, I built the ‘Deliverance Machine’ which was a laptop computer and program. The Machine gave these four people ultimate control over their deaths because it was they (not me) who pushed the button that allowed the lethal drugs to flow. I sat over the other side of the room. Their deaths taught me how important it is for peole to have control at the end.
At each separate person’s assisted death, the computer presented a short series of questions:
1. Are you aware that if you go ahead to the last screen and press the ‘yes’ button you will be given a lethal dose of medications and die?
2. Are you certain you understand that if you proceed and press the ‘yes’ button on the next screen you will die?
3. In 15 seconds you will be given a lethal injection … press ‘yes’ to proceed.