Autopsy Shows Assisted-Suicide Crusader Had No Cancer When She
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 8, 2004
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA--An autopsy report has confirmed that euthanasia crusader Nancy Crick did not have cancer at the time she took her own life two years ago.
Family members who have seen the seven-page report told reporters Tuesday that the official post-mortem examination indicates 43 different times that no cancer was found in Crick's body.
The 69-year-old great-grandmother surrounded herself by 21 relatives and supporters on May 22, 2002 when she took a lethal combination of drugs in her home.
She had said she wanted to die because she was in pain and in the terminal stages of cancer. In her Internet "suicide diary", Crick wrote that she hoped her death would test the laws that make assisted-suicide illegal.
In the state of Queensland, assisting in a suicide carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Local police said they would not comment on whether charges would be filed against those who witnessed Crick's death until after the investigation is completed.
Crick's family and euthanasia campaigner Dr. Philip Nitschke said Tuesday that the fact that she did not have cancer made no difference in the case, and that it would not be used to prosecute those who watched her die.
"Our detractors will jump up and down and say, 'See, she didn't have cancer', but it really is academic," said Nitschke, who was present when Mrs. Crick was told she no longer had cancer. Nitschke later admitted that it had been a mistake not to reveal that publicly.
"What she had was the crippling consequences of major cancer surgery and whether it was technically cancer or the consequences of cancer treatment is largely irrelevant."
Nitschke explained that the scar tissue from Crick's previous cancer surgery was what had caused her suffering.
Disability rights advocates have opposed legalizing assisted suicide because the practice has been strongly influenced by society's view that the lives of people with certain disabilities are pitiful and undesirable, and by health care systems that continue to limit options such as providing in-home supports. The U.S. advocacy group Not Dead Yet, which has been joined by more than a dozen other major disability groups, calls attempts to legalize assisted suicide "a deadly double standard for people with severe disabilities, including both conditions that are labeled terminal and those that are not."
"Crick family wants answers" (The Age)