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Customs "systems failure" leads to death of Australian woman: coroner
By:Xinhua
update:December 29,2017
Dec. 29, 2017 -- A breakdown in communication between border officials has been blamed for the death of an Australian woman who imported deadly euthanasia drugs.
 
Danni Smith, a 26-year-old nursing student, took her own life by ingesting a fatal dose of the euthanasia drug in August 2015 despite authorities being aware of her attempts to import the substance.
 
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection had placed a "postal stopper" on her address, meaning any parcels on their way to her were to be investigated by customs before they could be released.
 
However, a coroner's report into Smith's death published on Friday found that when two small parcels containing the substance were sent to her, the examining officer did not use a test capable of detecting the drug during screening.
 
The coroner found that the Department of Immigration staff had not been made aware of why the postal stopper had been put in place.
 
The parcels were released and Smith, who was ill at the time, ingested the substance when her mother, who was caring for her, left her alone for a few hours.
 
Coroner Rosemary Carlin described the incident as a "clear system failure" but Ann Smith, Danni's mother, said that did not go far enough.
 
"If that's the coroner's attitude, they should just put people with mental health in palliative care and be done with it," Smith told Fairfax Media on Friday.
 
"She had a very supportive family. Everything should have got her past it, and I just feel like we didn't get the support we needed from the medical system - not from the public system, not from private system and not in time."
 
Smith said she was aware the parcel had been delivered but assumed they were safe because they were marked with a label reading "this package has been opened and inspected by customs."
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