Published 09 January 2006 in ‘The Australian’
THE Criminal Code Amendment (Suicide Related Material Offences) Act 2005 has now been enacted. This is a blatant assault on our right to freedom of information, prohibiting suicide-related information via the internet, email, telephone and fax. This modern-day book burning cannot protect the vulnerable but instead disempowers people and forces them to ill advised, pre-emptive action. It is a cruel irony that Prime Minister Howard enabled the overturning of the Northern Territory’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act in 1997, thus causing an explosive drive for self-deliverance information. Now he further compounds people’s suffering by restricting access to this information. Shame, shame on this draconian law we would expect to find only in a dictatorship or theocracy.
President, South Australian Voluntary