The Criminal Code Amendment (Suicide Related Material Offences) Bill 2005 was passed in Federal Parliament last Thursday. This censorship law is a blatant assault on our right to freedom of information. It also is absurd as it targets suicide related information via the internet and other carriage services when the same information can be lawfully accessed through non electronic means such as books, face to face conversation and regular post.
It is draconian legislation we would expect to find in a dictatorship or theocracy. It will do nothing to address the real issues driving desperate people to suicide. It will do nothing to control access to overseas internet sites. It will, however, severely restrict the advisory and counselling services of voluntary euthanasia societies and compound the grievous suffering of many with hopeless illnesses. In this way it will indeed drive people to suicide.
President – South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society