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Press Release: New Zealand Veterinary Association

Supply of euthanasia drug professional suicide, says Veterinary
Association president

Dr Philip Nitschke’s suggestion that a person could obtain a dangerous
narcotic for human euthanasia from a veterinarian is a slur on the
integrity and professionalism of veterinarians, says NZ Veterinary
Association president John Maclachlan.

“It is both illegal and unethical for veterinarians to supply veterinary
products for human use and I am surprised that any member of the medical
profession, which is itself bound by a code of ethics, would come up
with a proposal like that,” says Dr Maclachlan.

He was commenting on a report in The Nelson Mail that claimed Dr
Nitschke had told a Nelson (NZ) audience that having an affair with a
veterinarian who had access to the barbiturate pentobarbital (which goes
by the trade name Nembutal) was an option for human euthanasia.

“Pentobarbital is a very old product that was used commonly in the past
for anaesthetising animals before anaesthetic machines with anaesthetic
gases became available. Nowadays the only veterinary formulation of
pentobarbital licensed here is an injection for euthanasia of animals,”
says Dr Maclachlan.

“Under veterinary medicine licensing legislation this drug is a Class 2
Prescription Animal Remedy, meaning it is a dangerous drug that is
tightly controlled. It is also a Class C controlled drug under the
Medicines Act and regulated under the Misuse of Drugs Act.”

“To my mind it is irresponsible and mischievous to suggest that any
veterinarian would supply this drug to any other person,” he said. “It
would be professional suicide for a veterinarian to do such a thing.”
Euthanasia literature at www.finalexit.org/ergo-store

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