Dozens of West Australians determined to end their lives are jetting to Thailand, as the country becomes the latest destination of choice for purchasing euthanasia drugs.
Right-to-die group, Exit International is recommending going to Thailand, over Mexico or Peru, for buying the drugs, due to cheap flights, and the ease of obtaining Nembutal, the preferred suicide drug from veterinary clinics in Bangkok.
The purchase of the illegal barbiturate has become so common, that a Thai vet supply shop, reportedly place a sign in the window that reads, Welcome Australians buying vet supplies.
Just this year, more than 300 sick or elderly West Australians, have contacted Exit, seeking the information on where and how to purchase Nembutal, which kills in 30 minutes.
Philie Nitschke, Exit director, and euthanasia advocate said another dozen West Australians had already visited the country and brought the drug into WA. He said the 12 people had it on stand-by to use for suicide, while others have been ordering the drug successfully by mail.
The suicide guidebook, The Peaceful Pill Handbook, by Dr Nitschke which is banned in Australia, but available online for about $75, is updated monthly with advice from people who have gone to Thailand.
The details on best vet clinics to visit in Bangkok and other Thai cities, where lethal dose of the drug can be bought at less than $50, are in the book.
We're getting emails every day from people with latest advice, Dr Nitschke said.
At the moment, there are three good clinics in Bangkok. We update the online book every month, so it's got the latest information for people.
Thailand is looking pretty food. It's easier and cheaper to buy Nembutal there than Mexico or Peru, which are the other two countries where people can readily get it.
Dr Nitschke said Australia's anti-euthanasia laws forced ordinary West Australians who wanted to die with dignity, to become drug traffickers who risk a lengthy jail sentence.
The Classification Review Board banned his book which shared details about controversial suicide methods, including cyanide recipes and tips to conceal euthanasia, mainly because it describes in detail the steps to manufacture barbiturates.
The penalty for bringing in a lethal dose of Nembutal, around 6g equals a 25 years jail sentence, said Dr Nitschke. In Thailand, the lethal dose of drug is mixed with water, and sold in 100ml bottles, making importation, a drug-trafficking offence.
Kim Hanes, health minister says while he opposes euthanasia, he is happy to have the issue debated.
Euthanasia candidates faced similar penalties as drug runners caught bringing illicit substances into the country, a police spokesman warned.
Dr Nitschke, will be coming to Perth for a right-to-die seminar next month.