Specialist wants Nitschke banned

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Reported: Dr Philip Nitschke. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian
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A senior Perth doctor wants the medical regulator to strip Philip Nitschke of his medical licence as "a risk to our patients" after the euthanasia advocate addressed doctors at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

Mark Schutze, a private pain specialist who also works in SCGH's department of pain management, wrote to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency after Dr Nitschke gave a talk at the hospital last month.

The talk was at the request of one of the department's pain medicine consultants.

Dr Schutze, who made the complaint as a private practitioner, said he did not support euthanasia but attended to hear Dr Nitschke's argument.

He said he was "truly shocked by his cavalier approach to what I could describe as nothing else other than promoting suicide".

Dr Schutze said Dr Nitschke had a right to his views but should not be legitimised with a medical licence nor allowed to tarnish the profession.

"I'm very concerned that his views are a significant departure from professional standards and do constitute a risk to public harm," he said.

Dr Nitschke said he was shocked to learn of the complaint and would ask SCGH to respond to the regulator.

He said the talk was a chance to discuss euthanasia from a medical view and explain how the lack of legislation drove elderly people to "seek their own solutions" with drugs bought on the internet. He discussed the phenomenon of people wanting to die for social reasons as well as plans for his Voluntary Euthanasia Party.

Dr Nitschke, who begins his WA Senate campaign tomorrow, said he was suspicious the complaint was political.

"When I found that the complaint came from a doctor in the department that had invited me I was suspicious I had been set up," he said.

Dr Schutze said he was unaware of Dr Nitschke's Senate bid when he complained.

A spokeswoman for AHPRA, which is investigating two complaints against Dr Nitschke from 2012 and last year, said it did not comment on cases.

A SCGH spokeswoman said it did not support Dr Nitschke's views on euthanasia.

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