Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke has taken an easy shot by speculating that the Perth man whose suicide is central to his suspension as a registered doctor was about to be accused of being one of the nation's "rare serial killers", a close friend of the late 45-year-old said yesterday.
Kerry O'Neil, of Dianella, said the Medical Board of Australia had no option but to suspend Dr Nitschke's registration amid concerns about his contact with Morley man Nigel Brayley before he took his own life in May.
"It is easy to slander a dead person," Mr O'Neil, a lifelong family friend of Mr Brayley, said.
"It is quite offensive."
But Dr Nitschke vowed to appeal against the suspension, announced yesterday after the board invoked its emergency powers allowing it to take action to protect public safety.
The Exit International founder, who described his suspension as "political", said Mr Brayley had not asked for his advice and he had not given him any.
He told 6PR radio yesterday that Mr Brayley had taken his own life after police reopened an investigation into the death of his wife Lina at a Perth quarry three years ago.
Dr Nitschke also referred to the disappearance of Mr Brayley's previous partner in East Timor in "strange circumstances" and claimed a third former partner had also disappeared.
"He looks like a person who has had three partners disappear," Dr Nitschke said.
"It looks very much like he was about to be accused of being one of Australia's rare serial killers. So he is a pretty unusual person."
He said he was not Mr Brayley's doctor and the Perth man had not been depressed.
"To try and construe that I had some obligation to twist his arm, force him to seek counselling, and certainly in retrospect as we now see that it looks as though he is doing this rather than face 20 or 30 years in a West Australian prison, is just ludicrous," Dr Nitschke said.
But Australian Medical Association WA vice-president Andrew Miller said the profession was saying "good riddance" to Dr Nitschke.
If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14