Human Exceptionalism

Did Nitschke Kill Animals or People in Perfecting the “Peaceful Pill?”

My last blog entry was about the notorious Philip Nitschke introducing his “peaceful pill” suicide concoction at the World Federation of Right to Die Societies bi-annual convention. I almost missed this little factoid in the news report about his appearance. “After a year of trials, the group has synthesized the barbiturate [in the suicide pill] into crystalline form. It is being tested for contaminants in an Australian laboratory. Once they get the assay results later this month, the barbiturate — named the Peanut Project (peanut is an American street name for barbiturates) — should be ready for use, Nitschke said.” (My emphasis.)

Excuse me: But how does one conduct “trials” of a suicide pill? Did Nitschke kill animals with the concoction? Did he give it to people? I repeat: How does one test a suicide pill? Can someone explain to me why journalists so often fail to ask the most obvious questions?