Monday, May 16, 2005

Censorship of euthanasia news & views


" A bipartisan Australian Senate committee has backed a Government bill to outlaw the use of the internet to encourage suicide.
" The Criminal Code Amendment (Suicide Related Materials) Bill would introduce fines of up to A$110,000 (US$83,300) for using the internet to access, transmit or make available material that counsels or incites
suicide. It would also make it an offence to simply discuss voluntary euthanasia on an internet chat group, say the bill's critics.
"The act's aim is to prevent suicide pacts from being organised online and stop strangers meeting in remote areas to carry them out. The minority opposition Australian Democrats argue that the law could make the online purchase of a book on voluntary euthanasia illegal, while allowing its legal sale over a shop counter. It would also be powerless to block access to foreign websites on suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia. "

{Index on Censorship can be found at}

[FOOTNOTE: While 'Final Exit' (by myself) cannot be downloaded online, it can be purchased online and then mailed to a buyer. It is also widely available in bookstores and on internet booksellers. Such transactions happen daily, all over the world, many to Australia. How they could block such sales in Australia remains a puzzle; this is a troubling development overall, particularly for EXIT INTERNATIONAL in Australia and its valuable work. Censorship must be fought by every means possible or we cannot claim to be 'free' people.
The proponents of this Australia law are using the crazy group suicides (much publicized) of some persons in Asia as their springboard for this law, while actually they are out to block the progresssive work of Dr. Philip Nitschke and his Australian organization EXIT INTERNATIONAL on the right-to-choose to die.

-----Derek Humphry 16 May 05 ]


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