July 9, 2019
Death Row drugs on sale at discount to teenagers
The Sunday Mirror, Amy Sharpe
Suicidal schoolchildren are being offered a Death Row drug for £220.
And website ghouls are preying on their vulnerability with a sickening half-price discount for ‘0 to 19-year-olds’ on killer Nembutal, which is used to execute prisoners in the US.
One promotion even features a “lethal dose calculator” based on age – as low as 15 – and weight.
And sellers boast they can easily ship the deadly drug – mainly offered as a means of euthanasia for adults – to doorsteps here.
Last night a leading charity blasted the shocking sites and said our findings were “extremely distressing”.
We found dozens of “firms” purporting to sell pentobarbital, known by brand name Nembutal, in different forms. They promise a “fast and discreet” delivery by post and a product that will kill in 20 minutes.
Another even features marketing images of models playing dead.
Chillingly, visitors are told on one page: “Are you trying to buy Nembutal in the UK without success? If not there is still hope. Going online is the way to go.”
A further site claimed: “We know our way around the UK.”
Many of the websites lie that they are endorsed by pro-euthanasia organisations like assisted suicide campaign group Exit International which has about 10,000 UK members.
Euthanasia is still illegal in Britain.
Dealers online come from as far away as Mexico or China, trying to cash in on the mental health crisis in the UK.
One sick website helps teens work out what their ‘lethal dose’ of nembutal would be.
Teen who killed herself jumping from M20 bridge was pregnant and didn’t know
Research by charity Young Minds last year revealed nearly 24 per cent of young people feel suicidal at some point in their lives.
Suicide is also the leading cause of death in Britain for men under 50 and people aged 20-34.
A number of inquests over the last decade have heard how victims bought drugs from abroad.
Student Isobel Narayan, 16, took her own life after receiving a shipment from America or China in 2011.
She had suffered “unfathomable” worthlessness.
Manchester Coroner Nigel Meadows said it was a “matter of public concern” she was able to get hold of the drug. Dhuha
Al-Nader, 25, of Colchester, Essex, used a drug bought on the Dark Web to kill herself in 2017 on the day a mental health crisis team were due to visit her.
Roger Grainger, who had Parkinson’s disease, bought Nembutal online and kept it for 18 months until he used it at 69 in 2016.
He did it without telling wife of 22 years Gaynor for fear of implicating her in his death.
She has spoken out about how legal assisted dying could have meant he could have confided in her and would not have had to die alone.
Campaigners for assisted dying have called for a change in current laws which means helping someone end their life carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years. This week MPs debated the issue for the first time for four years.
Britain’s ban on assisted dying is “bad law and should be changed”, MPs told MP Nick Boles, who co-chairs the all party group for Choice at the End of Life, called for a public consultation on rules that criminalise anyone who helps a suffering person end their life.
Pentobarbital is a Class B drug under UK law. A Home Office spokesperson said: “It is unlawful to supply, possess, produce, import or export a Class A, B or C drug without the appropriate authority.
Law enforcement agencies are working with internet providers to shut down UK-based websites found to be committing these offences.”
Exit International’s founder Dr Philip Nitschke, known as Dr Death, warned some of the sites are scams.
Dr Nitschke is based in the Netherlands and campaigns for assisted dying. He was the first doctor in the world to administer a legal lethal injection in 1996.
“We see complaints almost daily from victims of these scams,” he said. “Many are initially angry with us because fraudsters claim we have endorsed them.
“We are also seeing cases of victims being blackmailed by scammers who threaten to hand over their details to the police and report them for buying illegal drugs. Those who fall for it are mainly elderly people.
“These sites are slick with convincing testimonials – but their business model is simply to take cash and do nothing. It causes a lot of panic and pain.”
Thomas Davies, of Dignity in Dying said: “We are all too aware that the current law forces some people who are suffering at the end of life to take desperate measures.
“Websites selling dangerous drugs, or scamming potentially vulnerable people, is another dire consequence of the absence of a safeguarded assisted dying law.
“It’s vital the authorities and internet companies do everything possible to shut down these websites.”