Australian Network Accused of “Death Voyeurism” For Broadcasting Final Moments of Euthanasia Advocate’s Life

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By Gemma Wilson | 10:30 am, October 21, 2016
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The Australian Broadcasting Television has come under fire for showing the final moments of Max Bromson’s life as the euthanasia advocate took a fatal dose of an illegal drug.

After two years the tape of Max Bromson’s last moments has finally been made public as the family has been cleared of any wrong doing. The vision was shown on ABC’s 7.30 program.

But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton accused the ABC of being “taken over” by political activists reported The Australian.

­Former prime minister Tony ­Abbott also criticized the media organization saying they had engaged in “death voyeurism”.

“Surely not even the ABC is so irresponsible, I am simply ­appalled,” Mr Abbott told The Australian last night. “Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there have to be standards of reporting. This is death voyeurism, not journalism.”

Neil Mitchell also slammed the ABC for airing the vision saying it was disgraceful.

“I strongly support voluntary euthanasia, but this was a blatant and irresponsible piece of attention-seeking by the ABC,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“I doubt they’ll answer to it. I’ve invited them on the program.

“But they usually don’t answer to criticism – they’re above that.

“What they did was wrong.

“It was self-serving, self-indulgent journalism.”

Conservative Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz said it was a ­“matter of regret” that the national broadcaster was “portraying suicide in such a light which ­undermines the community’s ­efforts to value every life.”

But others, including those from within the ABC, supported the program.


Bromson, an euthanasia advocate, chose to voluntarily end his life on July 28, 2014 at the age of 67. His health had been deteriorating due to an ongoing battle with bone cancer.

For two years his family, who were present in the room when he took his last breath, lived in fear of criminal prosecution while the police investigated his death.

“At about one o’clock in the morning, he said, ‘We need to go. We need to go now’,” his sister Kerry Bromson said.

As the family gathered in a small hotel room and watched him die they filmed the death to protect themselves.

“The reason we filmed it was probably more for legal reasons, to show that we had nothing to do in assisting him. That it was his choice,” she said. “I think we were naive. I think we all went in quite blind. We were doing it out of love for our brother, their father.”

Bromson, a passionate and outspoken supporter of voluntary euthanasia, was determined to end his life on his terms.

Max Bromson pictured towards the end of his life after a five-year battle with terminal cancer. Picture: SuppliedSource:News Corp Australia

He went to Philip Nitschke’s euthanasia advocacy group, Exit International, and Bromson secretly arranged to obtain the illegal euthanasia drug, Nembutal.

His family said they have no idea how he obtained the drug as he never discussed the details with them.

“He never told us a lot regarding what he’d done or how he’d done it. We just knew that when the time was right that he had a choice,” Kerry said.

After Bromson’s death police raided Nitschke’s office and seized the family’s phones, computers and the vision of his final moments.

Finally the family were cleared by police but a coroner’s investigation is still expected.

“I don’t blame the police for that. I don’t blame the legal system for what it is. I actually blame our politicians because nobody is standing up for the rights of the individual in this situation,” she said.

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