Suzy Austen Legal Defence Fund

Suzy Austen needs your help!

Suzy Austen has been the face of the voluntary euthanasia movement in New Zealand for well over a decade.

Passionate about the need for law reform, and a strong believer in the right of New Zealanders to have choice at the end of their lives, Suzy is both the Coordinator the Wellington Chapter of Exit International and a Committee Member of The Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NZ.

In late 2016, Suzy was charged with importing the euthanasia drug Nembutal into New Zealand.

These charges were the result of the infamous Operation Painter - an undercover investigation which was set up by the NZ Police to entrap and then prosecute members of Exit International.

In order to gather information about Exit International, the NZ Police went to the extraordinary lengths of
creating a fake alcohol driving checkpoint. Their aim was to gain 'intelligence' on all those who attended Suzy's October 2016 'pot-luck' Sunday lunch at her home in Lower Hutt.

All those stopped were questioned by Police, who were seeking to establish who attended the lunch and what was discussed.

On the basis of this (illegally) obtained information, a number of Exit Members have since  then subjected to Police raids on their homes. Police have been searching in part for the drug Nembutal. On one occasion, Exit Member Patsy McGrath, had her lawfully-purchased Balloon Time helium cylinder confiscated by the visiting Police Officers.

Following all this, Suzy has been charged.

Six months on and NZ Police have now upped the charges. Suzy has now learned that she is facing the charge of assisting with the suicide of Exit member Anne Marie Treadwell , 77, who ended her life using the drug Nembutal in June, 2016.

Anne Marie had been in contact with Exit prior to her death, stressing how important it was for her to have choice at the end of life.

While the penalties for the importation of small quantities of the euthanasia drug Nembutal are relatively light, 'assisting a suicide' is an entirely different matter.

Suzy now faces the possibility of 14 years in a NZ prison.

Suzy has had to hire the best NZ lawyers to defend her against the charges. The cost will be high.

Exit International is seeking wide support to ensure that Suzy gets justice, and the charges against her are beaten.

The trial will attract international attention in regard to the critical issue of whether an elderly people has the right to control when and how they die.

I strongly urge you to support Suzy.

Your support will demonstrate that end of life choice is a fundamental right.

And that bad laws need to be broken before they can be changed.

The Supreme Court Trial is expected to be held in late 2017.

Philip Nitschke,
Director: Exit International,
Haarlem, NL.


Philip Nitschke

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