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Dr Philip Nitschke

Dr Philip Nitschke, PhD MBBS BSc is the founder and director of Exit International.

With his partner Fiona Stewart, he is co-author of the Peaceful Pill Handbook Essentials and the new Going to Switzerland: how to plan your final exit.

In 1996, Philip became the first doctor in the world to provide voluntary euthanasia using Australia’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act of the Northern Territory and, as a result, four terminally ill patients used this law to end their suffering.

The Australian Parliament would go on to overturn the law by way of a conscience vote in March 1997.

Philip gained his PhD in applied physics from Flinders University in 1972.  He graduated from Sydney University Medical School in 1988. He retired from medicine in 1997 to work full-time on voluntary euthanasia and assisted dying.

Philip lives in the Netherlands.

Dicing with Dr Death – Have a Laugh!

Philip Nitschke has had a varied professional career.

In 2015 he launched his comedy career at the Edinburgh Fringe with a show called ‘Dicing with Dr Death’.

Dicing with Dr Death received a number of rave reviews including 4 stars from Edinburgh Three Weeks and 5 stars from TV Bomb.

Philip would go on to perform an ‘Aussie’ version of his Dicing show that was subsequently re-titled ‘Practising without a License’ and held as part of the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The show attracted a full house at Melbourne’s The Athenaeum Theatre.

A second performance took place in Darwin in the Northern Territory before Philip returned to his day job of euthanasia activism.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Review, 3 April 2016

“[Nitschke] presented his case with such measure, warm humour and intelligence that even his puns were excusable.”

Jim Schrembi, Herald Sun

Dr Philip Nitschke - Author

Dicing with Dr Death in Darwin


Exit International Director Dr Philip Nitschke is the recipient of numerous awards including:

  • Rainier Foundation Humanitarian Award, 1996
  • Northern Territorian of the Year, 1997
  • Australian Humanist of the Year, 1998
  • Charles Southwell Award (NZ Association of Rationalists & Humanists), 2001

Interestingly, Philip is an nine-time nominee for Australian of the Year (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and in addition he is twice a state finalist (2005 & 2006).

Philip Nitschke

Philip with Henny Penny (who is now deceased)