A British woman, Liz Stephenson is hoping the new research on suicide websites will add weight to her campaign for the Government to shut down websites that promote suicide.
Stephenson’s daughter Carina committed suicide two years ago after spending significant time reading and surfing how-to-suicide web-sites.
Stephenson blamed the sites “wholly” for what happened to Carina and said she had since felt like “a lone voice” in her campaign to stop them providing suicide advice.
There is no regulation of suicide sites in the UK because they are not illegal, the researchers added.
In the UK “A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “We are actively looking at what we can do to control so-called suicide websites. There are inherent difficulties, because many of them are based overseas, but we are considering whether the law could be strengthened or clarified and will announce conclusions shortly.”
Similar to Canada, the UK prohibits aiding, abeting and counseling suicide. These laws need to be updated to explicitly outlaw suicide counseling by internet or other communications medium in a similar manner as the law in Australia. In the United States, laws prohibiting suicide counseling are regulated by the State.
Dr. Philip Nitscke, Australia’s Dr. Death, who has operated a suicide counseling service, made it clear in an interview in the national review (http://www.nationalreview.com/smithw/smith200411150826.asp) that once he develops a suicide pill - peaceful pill - that it would be available to troubled teens.
Society needs to recognize that vulnerable people need to be protected from predators, including suicide predators who claim to be solely concerned about “choice” but who are in fact promoting information that directly threatens the lives of vulnerable people.
Published Date: 12 April 2008 Source: Doncaster Star, Sheffield