Dr Philip Nitschke
Dr Philip Nitschke, PhD MBBS BSc (Hons), is the Founder of the euthanasia and assisted suicide non-profit organization, Exit International.
In 1996, Philip became the first physician in the world to administer voluntary euthanasia via a legal, lethal voluntary injection under the short-lived Rights of the Terminally Ill Act of the Northern Territory in 1996.
Four of Philip’s terminally ill patients used this law to end their suffering before the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act was overturned in March 1997 by the Australian Parliament.
Philip was awarded his PhD in applied physics from Flinders University in 1972.
Philip graduated from Sydney University Medical School in 1988. He retired from medical practice in 1997 and his medical registration was controversially suspended by the Medical Board of Australia in July 2014.
A decision on 7 July 2015 by the Northern Territory Supreme Court found the Medical Board of Australia’s decision to be unlawful and Dr Nitschke’s right to be registered as a medical practitioner in Australia was immediately restored.
Philip retired his medical registration of his own volition in November 2015 by burning his medical license at a press conference in Darwin.
Today, Philip lives in Europe. He continues to travel widely holding Public Meetings & Exit Workshops on euthanasia and assisted suicide.
He launched his comedy career at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2015 with his show ‘Dicing with Dr Death’ which received rave reviews of **** (Edinburgh Three Weeks) and ***** (TV Bomb).
Philip performed a new ‘aussie’ version of his Dicing show, retitled ‘Practising without a License’ at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April 2016 (The Athenaeum Theatre) & again in Darwin NT in August 2016.
Melbourne 2016 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
Philip is the recipient of the following awards:
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
Philip is an nine-time nominee for Australian of the Year (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and twice a state finalist (2005 & 2006).
Philip Nitschke has been called ‘one of the most original minds working in the field of end of life choices today…’
‘The ability to determine the time and manner of one’s own death is a fundamental human right that should be respected by all.’