World / Asia-Pacific

Fiji denies reports on plan to open euthanasia clinic

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-08-24 14:42

SUVA - The Fijian government on Friday denied overseas media reports that there is a plan to establish a euthanasia clinic in Fiji.

Sharon Smith-Johns, permanent secretary for information, told media that none of the overseas media contacted the Fijian government before running reports that Fiji is considering opening a euthanasia clinic.

Earlier on Friday, Australian newspaper The Age quoted euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke as saying that in 2011, he sent a proposal to Fiji's Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on opening "hastened death service" in Fiji's western tourist town of Nadi, which would operate like the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

Nitschke stressed that if approved, Fiji could make money from government taxes on the service, local burial services and "ongoing tourism associated with remembrance of the loved one".

Smith-Johns stressed that the reality is that there are no plans at all and the attorney general's chambers received a submission from a Doctor Nitschke in August last year.

Meanwhile, a Fiji expert at the Australian National University, Professor Brij Lal, said it was unlikely to take on such a morally charged issue in Fiji without consulting its conservative and mostly Christian population.

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